The world turns. Planets, moons, and stars rush by me as I stay fixed to this one place.
Those who would know me, those who would be my ally, those who would call me by name, lose their chance as they only give me a fleeting glance.
I call to them, but they do not answer.
I block their path, and I am run over.
I grab them, force them to face me, but, like dust, they are ripped from my fingers.
I pull on my bonds wanting so badly to be free, but I cannot.
I do not have the power to pick this rock up and carry it away.
So I stay.
I must not move, for this causes my muscles to scream in agony.
I must not speak, for my throat is like sandpaper and my tongue like hot metal.
I must not weep, for the tears that run down my face are like acid and burn my skin.
I am ruined, lost deep within my own being.
Will I never escape?
Will I never be out of this dark place?
And, the world continues to revolve, without care of me or my misery.
Until one man comes.
He looks at me, wipes the blood and tears from my face, and smiles.
“All you have to do is ask,” he says. And in the moment it takes me to breathe, he has broken the shackles that bind my hands and the iron chains wrapped around my feet and beckons to me.
Eagerly, I run forth, so glad to be free, so glad to be leaving this place.
But then something stops me.
I turn to look at the one place that I have known all my life; the rock, the shackles, the claustrophobic darkness, and realize that I do not want to go.
I want to stay in this dark world, for I cannot think of how to move on.
Perhaps I can carry them with me?
Yes, I will follow this man, but keep my things.
But what will he say? He will not approve of my belongings, of this I am certain, so he must not see.
I hide my rock and chains behind my back and turn to follow this man.
“Lay down your burdens,” he tells me.
“I have no burdens,” I reply earnestly, hoping to fool him.
“Lay down your burdens, child. Where you go, they cannot.”
Again I tell the man, “I have no burdens. I am free to travel with you.”
The man comes to my face and lays one hand on my shoulder.
“Lay down your burdens.” And it is then that I understand my folly.
How could I have used deceit to trick this man?
Quickly, almost as if disgusted with my actions, I throw down my bonds and fell to my knees.
“Please, forgive me. I did not know. I am…I am…” I stutter, unable to find the words that get lost in my throat. But it doesn’t not matter.
He lifts me to my feet.
“All you had to do was ask.”
And then the man takes one hand and touches my wrists and my ankles.
Shackles that were all but invisible to me before were released.
The man takes the shackles and transfers them to his own wrists and ankles.
“I will take your burdens.”
With an exhilarating rush I am lifted and suddenly everything is filled with penetrating light.
My surroundings, my body, my very being is filled with the undying good of Jesus Christ.
“Go, my child, and share with the world the things that you have discovered.”
And so I go.
Those who would I would know, I know.
Those who would be my ally, are my ally.
Those who I would call by name, I call by name, and those who receive nothing but a fleeting glance, receive the truth.
The truth that Jesus Christ can save you too.
Son to a farmer, 16 year old Blake lives in rural New Mexico with his parents, two sisters and a brother where they raise cattle, wheat and 4H livestock. He can drive a combine, pull a plow and milk a goat! Blake is a veracious reader: Done with homework? Read a book. Free class time? Read a book. Road trip? Read a book! When he’s not reading, Blake is a very active leader in his school and community where he is President of his 4H club, a member of FFA, BPA, FCA, Student Council, FCCLA (in which he competed at a national level) and, his favorite–journalism. (read more…)