Magical Thinking About Unread Books
April 24, 2013

Matthew 11:30

"For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Lillian Daniel

I am always carrying way too much stuff around. I live only four blocks from my church but I am embarrassed at how often I drive there, often because of all the stuff f I am hauling from one place to another. It is common for me to be carrying two, maybe three bags and always, an armful of books.

I am always carrying books around in the hope of reading them. It's as if I believe that if I continually carry piles of books from my church, to my car, to my home and then back to church again, the information from all those books will somehow just sink into my aching arms without my actually reading them.

I hold the same magical thinking about the tall pile of books on my bedside table. Perhaps in the middle of the night their best thoughts will enter my brain telepathically. So by no means should I ever move them away to another part of the house, lest I miss a subconscious intellectual breakthrough in the middle of the night.

If I'm honest, I drag those books from place to place out of a misplaced sense of obligation. I want to be the person who has read all those books but if my behavior is any evidence, I don't really want to read them after all. Maybe, in hauling them around, I just want to be the person who looks like she is reading all those books.

Often the heaviest loads we carry are the ones we impose on ourselves.

Prayer

Jesus, you promised to lighten our burdens, but please give us a nudge when that looks to you like a job we could do for ourselves. Amen.

About the Author
Lillian Daniel, author of When "Spiritual But Not Religious" is Not Enough, has a chapter in the upcoming anthology, What My Mother Gave Me: Thirty-one Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most. Follow her on twitter @lillianfdaniel.
What's your experience of Jesus? The Jesus Diaries: Who Jesus is to Me, by the writers of the Stillspeaking Daily Devotional.
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