Recently, on the fringes of this latest holiday season, I received an internal invitation of sorts. It arrived as I stood quiet and still for several moments one morning- forcing myself to ignore the whistling locomotive in the distance of my mind- the all too familiar Anxiety Express barreling down the tracks.
There in the brief absence of my own thoughts, I heard that inside-my-soul- voice simply say, “an invitation to buoyancy.” The call to weightlessness was being extended even as I watched the engine steam from the train heavy-laden with burden and stress, break the horizon. It was an invitation I wanted to accept, and yet wasn’t sure I would. Or could. How can I, how can we, be buoyant here at the height of the fall season, where everything from the colors of the trees to the numbers on the scale appear heavy and dense?
Watching the autumn leaves release from their once firm grasp on the limbs overhead, I can almost feel myself being buried under their volume. As if each fallen leaf is an obligation or thought filling my mind. Something at once so lovely, slowly smothering me until that invitation to lightness feels completely out of reach.
I love words and their imagery. God knows this, so just as the leaves gently float down from branch to ground, he begins to talk to me about his invitation. Yes, the season feels heavy, and if I choose to look down at the weight surrounding us all, it may immobilize me indefinitely. But Jesus said His burden is light. Easy, weightless, restful even. And as another leaf breaks free above, the sunlight shines through its vacancy and I see more clearly than just a moment before. Jesus, the Light of the world- the light of this dark world, weighed down in brokenness- came to be and bring light. Jesus brings buoyancy. I am simply invited to the party he has already prepared. He has been offering the same invitation to all of us all along. In Matthew’s gospel we read of Jesus doing just that, ‘Come, all who are heavy. Come close to the Light. Be light.’ Come close, stay close- for it’s in the staying near that burden turns to buoyant. It requires of me though- the coming near, the laying down of my cares, thoughts, expectations. Things I have accumulated must fall to the ground to make space for more light in my life. As a practical point of transparency and accountability, a few of the things I am currently feeling prompted to let fall away from my shoulders include perfectionism, un-forgiveness in relationships, and time logged on social media.
Isaiah 60 says, Arise- look up! For your light has come. It is only in the looking up that I can look back down on my circumstances with any sort of clarity. The invitation has been given and I accept. Here at the heavy end of another year- I am learning again how to look up, how to lighten my load, how to be buoyant.