“What are you doing here? Haven’t you done enough?.
– She loved you Joan.
I loved here! And what am I supposed to do with that now? … I just want my friend back.
– A man had three boxes, each of the boxes weight 5 pounds. The man weights 190. The bridge could only support 200. How did the man make it across the bridge with all of his boxes?
This is just cruel.
– How did he get across Joan?
HE JUGGLED!! Yes, ok?! He juggled to get one box in the air the whole time! YES, I GET IT. What are you saying that if I juggle boxes across the bridge I will see Judith again?”
– No. The bridge is life, the boxes are all your feelings, and they are love, joy, pain, lost. Everyone is crossing a bridge with more weight that they can bear. So, you juggle.”
(Then, a long pause while the old man juggles. He passes the juggling balls to the young girl who has been yelling for the last couple of minutes. She is filled with pain, anger and resentment after losing one of her best friends. And then, then he asked)
– Can you? ”
I believe in a point of our lives most of us have felt this way “and what do I do with it now?” With a feeling, good or bad.
This conversation is part of one chapter of an old series I used to watch, Joan of Arcadia. It always called my attention that this girl could talk to God. But the truth is, that God could talk to her and sometimes (most of the time) she could hear but she was not really listening till something happened that made her go back to God and listen carefully to understand.
The whole juggling idea is a good example to explain what I have been trying to do with my life the past five years. There were just way too many things going on that I was trying to balance. It is, a good philosophy of life you know? just take as much as you can and deal with it, then take a little more and repeat the process, and years and years can fly away while you are trying to figure out how many boxes you need to hold on and how many you need to keep in the air.
Yet, if we think twice we can quickly realize that juggling can be exhausting, right? Imagine how your arms will feel after a couple of minutes if you try to do that in real life. Maybe you have stronger arms than me (and by maybe I mean everyone does.). So maybe imaging how your arms would feel after a couple of hours.
But in real life juggling cannot be done forever. You need to stop, you need to rest and then you can choose to start doing it again.
To juggle you need something right? It could be boxes or juggling balls, it could be anything you can grab with your hand. It could be our feelings: we feel loved or we feel rejected, we feel useful or we feel used. We feel strong or we feel weak. We feel pain or we feel joy. We could also juggle with task, relationships, work, church, helping the poor, sports, studying. There are many things we could be juggling in the air right now. In fact, there are things we are juggling right now.
I love having control and juggling is all about control. But let’s be honest, who doesn’t enjoy having control of his own life? I could bet almost everyone does.
Things have taken me far this time, far to see that I can’t do this anymore. I have come to understand that this good philosophy of juggling life does not work for me, it just don’t work anymore. At the end of the day my arms hurt. My heart hurts.
But in one of the moments of weakness I was reminded that Christian life is not about juggling, it’s about surrender. It is not about control it is about trust. So from then till now, I wake up every morning and try to reminded myself these:
“Trust in the LORD with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding: in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3: 3 – 5
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6-7
Therefore, when from time to time I pick up my old juggling habit, and my arms start hurting again, I can come back to the promises that my Savior will always be there to hold my hands.