Learners and the ‘Lazy Susan’
There’s a restaurant on I-16 between Atlanta and Savannah that serves food on a “Lazy Susan” in the middle of the table. The server puts the food on and you spin it around to fill and refill your plate.
I think God grows us in the same way. Sometimes, the “Lazy Susan of life” serves up issues we’re forced to deal with. Things like illness, death, rejection, “you’re fired” . . . stuff like that. It jumps on our plate without being invited. One way or another, with or without God, we respond. If you’re a wise person, you learn from it. You learn more about God and about yourself. If you’re foolish, you don’t. (I’m assuming only wise people read this blog)
Sometimes, it’s not pushed onto your plate. Sometimes, you get to choose. You’re listening to a sermon, reading a book, listening to a song or talking with someone when “BAM,” there it is. A new friend gave me his book about forgiveness just a day or so after I heard a talk about the impact of unforgiveness. The Holy Spirit nudges . . . the Lazy Susan stops. “That’s it . . . that’s where I want to take you now.” So I’m reading and praying about forgiveness. Do I forgive? Really? How long does it take me? How can I get there quicker? Like a dad who is fathering a son, or a mentor with a younger guy, God brings something to my attention and invites me to class. Check this out . . .
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (emphasis mine) Matthew 11:29
Thousands of sermons have been preached about the yoke. I know a guy who has made an art piece out of an oxen yoke. (I imagine his wife may not be too crazy about having it in the living room). A yoke in Jesus’ day was the specific teaching of an individual rabbi.
Barnes Notes on the Whole Bible says this . . .
“(Yoke) refers here to the religion of the Redeemer; and the idea is, that they should embrace his system of religion and obey Him. All virtue and all religion imply ‘restraint’ – the restraint of our bad passions and inclinations – and subjection to laws; and the Saviour here means to say that the restraints and laws of His religion are mild, and gentle, and easy.”
So, when Jesus challenged His followers to “take my yoke upon you and learn from me,” He might have been saying, “Watch Me as events occur in My life. Listen to My teaching. Model what I do, how I respond and Who I am. Over time, I’ll replace your ‘religion’ with My heart, living in you. I’m gentle and humble in heart. Life with Me is the only life where you’ll find rest for your souls.”
When the Lazy Susan of life spins trouble your way, will you stop and ask, “Lord, what are you teaching me here?” When you feel the unction to work on a blind spot, character flaw, bad habit or weakness, will you grab it off the Lazy Susan and go to work on it?
Prayer – “Father, please create in me a gentle, humble, teachable heart.”
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