Daily Reflection
July 20th, 2006

Jeanne Schuler

Philosphy Department
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Isaiah 26:7-9, 12, 16-19
Psalm 102:13-14ab and 15, 16-18, 19-21
Matthew 11:28-30

The Lightness of Being Human

Our ancestors drew their strength from God. Their own deeds were not trusted. Human labor was painful and gave birth only to wind. If the people are freed from captivity, God acts and it is done. If the war ever ends, it is God who brings peace. Human effort is futile. God is the power of this world. We yearn; it is God who saves.

Our ancestors made themselves nothing, so that God is all.

We see things differently. Now it is our world; it is we who act. Our deeds make history. We trust what passes through our hands. The only face we really recognize is our own. Inside every seeming mystery we run into ourselves. Human judgments measure truth. We are what matters.

We meant to liberate ourselves. But alone our burden is crushing.

By day, we rush from task to task, workload mounting, boss calling for more. Lists never end; we cross out one line and head for the next. Results, earning, interest, growth, efficiency, bottom lines measure reality. In offices, fields, shops, households, factories, classrooms, and boardrooms, humans bend to the job. Life comes to mean either at-work or not-working.

In the night we still yearn. Sometimes we dream of problem-free relationships, abolishing debt, friction, gravity, and time sheets. All effort ceases.

What You promise is better than magic: reality is not measured by our efforts alone. Work connects us to the earth and all living things. But we do not labor like beasts. We don’t have to choose: either God’s power or ours. We share the load. Your yoke does leave us misshapen. With You is the weight of love.

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