As I was putting together a conclusion to Psalm 23, and end of my time in Maine, I remembered seeing a man when I was in Paris as a teenager. The man was asleep … at the Louvre! The most famous museum in the world, the best known building in Paris. Tourists cooing over piece after piece and this man was sleeping while seated on a bench. Crown jewels down the hall, Rembrandt on the wall. Van Gogh was one floor up, The Venus de Milo was one floor down. I was star struck with eyes wide open.
Why did he fall asleep at the Louvre? Looking back, I blame it on his burden of the bags. I think he was worn out from lugging the family luggage. Whatever the reason, he didn’t appear to be traveling light.
Its one thing to fall asleep at the Louvre, quite another to sleep through life…yawn. Sometimes we do. We can’t help it. Its hard work carrying yesterday’s guilt around. This burlap bag of worry has your neck in knots. And the dread of death is enough to break a back, not to mention make you miss out on the magic of life happening all around you. Perhaps you couldn’t sleep last night because you kept rolling over a duffel bag of disappointments. Let’s get rid of the bags! Come, all who are weary and need rest. Give your luggage to God and rest …
Rest from the burden of a small God, because you have found THE LORD.
Rest from doing things your way, because THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
Rest from endless wants, because I SHALL NOT WANT
Rest from weariness, because HE LEADS ME
Rest from hopelessness, because HE LEADS ME IN THE PATHS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
Rest from arrogance, because of HIS NAMES SAKE
Rest from the valley of death, because HE WALKS ME THROUGH IT
Rest from the shadow of grief, because HE GUIDES ME
Rest from fear, because HIS PRESENCE COMFORTS ME
Rest from loneliness, because HE IS WITH ME
Rest from shame, because HE HAS PREPARED A PLACE FOR ME IN THE PRESENCE OF MY ENEMIES
Rest from disappointments, because HE ANOINTS ME
Rest from envy, because MY CUP OVERFLOWS
Rest from doubt, because HE FOLLOWS ME
Rest from homesickness, because I WILL DWELL IN THE HOUSE OF MY LORD FOREVER
So, tomorrow when you leave your house and pick your baggage up out of habit, set it bag down, again and again until that sweet day when you realize you aren’t picking it up anymore.
And on that day, with your burden lifted, you’ll be traveling light enough to ponder the mysteries of life. Visit the Louvre, and peer at the Mona Lisa and tell me, what’s the big deal about her anyway?