All of 15 pounds, our Boston terrier has starting carrying around 5-gallon buckets.
BeBe will pick up one of those orange buckets and carry it outside. While there, she rolls it around and bites the rim. She barks at it.
Then, she'll pick it up and carry it in her mouth around the yard.
My husband, Chuck, and I laugh at her antics. However, I'm less amused when she manages to bring it in the house.
Sometimes it will roll down the stairs.
You should see her try to get it back upstairs. She'll make a crying, whining noise as she paws wildly at a bucket. She'll try to lift it only to have it get caught on the edge of one of the carpeted steps.
And down it will fall.
Such things don't stop her. She'll keep trying to get it upstairs.
Finally, my husband or I will grab the bucket and carry it while she excitedly follows behind - barking all the way.
The other night, however, Chuck was not in the mood to be the human version of a golden retriever.
So he put the bucket away.
BeBe scampered around, looking for her absent toy.
She seemed lost without it.
She's an interesting dog. I keep wondering why she would want to carry a big bucket around.
It's such a burden.
That's when I have to stop and remember that humans aren't so different.
We carry burdens, too.
Unlike BeBe's bucket, however, our burdens tend to be things like guilt, regret, sorrow, unforgiveness, bitterness, fear, anger or some other miserable thing.
We carry those heavy burdens wherever we go. We roll them around in our minds. We may even bark at others when we don't think they're paying attention to us and our burdens.
Maybe it's time to put those burdens down.
Better yet, maybe it's time to give them to God.
The psalmist, David, seemed to know how to do that when he wrote: "Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens." (Psalm 68:19)
Now look what Jesus so tenderly tells us: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30).
"What?" you ask. "Jesus wants to give me a burden. I already have enough."
I don't think Christ is adding you to add to your burdens.
I think he's wanting to make a trade.
I started trading my burdens a long time ago when I began following the Lord more closely and working to obey him.
Today, I may have a "burden" of doing some work for him.
Funny thing, those so-called burdens aren't very heavy. I may need to prepare for a class or help with a project.
I don't mind so much. I'd rather be doing some work for God - where I see a reward - than to carry some of my self-imposed burdens.
I carried much heavier burdens - like worry and remorse - when I wasn't following God very well. I guess I tended to make some of my own problems and then carried the burden of consequences.
By following God, I avoid those.
I'm not saying that my life is carefree, but it's sure a lot better.
Which is nice.
I have more peace. I appreciate the world around me more and I'm so thankful to God for what he's given me.
And for what he shows me - even if it's through our bucket-carrying BeBe.