It’s said the summer months are many a things. Among it, “moving season.”
My brother and his family is set to dive into packing, stacking, and taping what seems like a thousand boxes. I’m exaggerating – a bit, but still they’ll have plenty to organize come mid July when they’re schedule to move.
Moving is difficult.
This past weekend I helped move my elderly uncle of 80 years. It was, I thought, going to be simple, short and steady. It was neither. Regardless of his few things, it was a lot of work, heavy lifting and mental labour just to pack and unpack the truck much less carrying everything. What I estimated would take 3 to 4 hours took 7 to 8 hours of sweat, speed (we had to get the truck back on time) and shear strength (thank you my Lord). Including myself there where only four of us, and two couldn’t manage the heavy things much at all. Me neither, only I had little choice.
After the matter I said to my mom, “next time we use movers!” I wasn’t kidding. The workload was too much for one or two people to bear. Too heavy a burden to lift upon ones shoulder alone. Our bodies are not built to manage such loads over and over and over. The occasional here and there is manageable but that wasn’t the case. There were more heavy things than I had anticipated and, many, many small to midsize things that add up to a mountain of stuff. We often overwork our bodies and minds, straining and stressing them. And most do very little to recover after an injury, aggravation or over exhaustion. And that is foolish! Plain foolish.
Thinking about my brother’s move coming up I thought to give him a call and insist they get a lot more help, even if that means hired help. I stressed to him how sore and tired my body was the days after moving our uncle, (and I could imagine my uncle’s friend who beard most of the heavy things and drove the moving van). My purpose in telling my brother of all that had happened before, during and after the move was to convince, compel and counsel him to pay whatever the cost might be to hire movers. “It is”, I said, “money well spent.”
Whether he and my sister-in-law will take my advice is yet to be known. But several hours after I had spoken with my brother I went to read in my bible. I wasn’t certain what I wanted to read as I flipped through the pages. It was late. I was already wrapped in bed. Often I’d read a psalm of praise and thanksgiving to God just before sleeping yet for some reason (the Holy Spirit’s doing of course) I was lead to read Exodus chapter 18.
The Lord who hears all things confirmed to me what I had spoken to my brother just hours before.
13 And so it was, on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood before Moses from morning until evening. 14 So when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?” 15 And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16 When they have a difficulty, they come to me, and I judge between one and another; and I make known the statutes of God and His laws.” 17 So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you do is not good. 18 Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself. 19 Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God. 20 And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. 21 Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 22 And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people will also go to their place in peace.” 24 So Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25 And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people: rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 26 So they judged the people at all times; the hard cases they brought to Moses, but they judged every small case themselves. 27 Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went his way to his own land.”
BEAR THE BURDEN TOGETHER
We must all learn this very perfect truth of bearing the burned together. As Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law said, “the thing that you do is not good” that we bear burdens alone. There are ways to overcome burnout, injury, and exhaustion.
I love how the King James version put its, “You will surely wear away, both you, and this people that is with you: for this thing is too heavy for you; you are not able to preform it yourself alone.”
Jethro didn’t say don’t do this anymore because you can’t. He advised Moses to get help. Establish other able men who can manage a certain amount of people according to their ability and faith.
Don’t be shy or prideful, or foolish to say “Help. I cannot do this alone.” You will, as I know firsthand, wear yourself out. And believe me, burnout is not good. Not in the very least of it. I am still recovering from having foolishly overdone myself. Saying “No” doesn’t mean that the work can’t get accomplished; it means, “No, I’ll need more help in order for it to get done.”
In the end, Moses did heed the advice of his father-in-law. Which I’m certain he was thankful for thereafter. This revelation is to be applied for many things. Parents, teach your mature children to cook a meal. Help them learn how to be of help around the house inside and out. Families must learn how to bear the burden together. Friends must learn how to bear the burden together. Communities, churches, towns, cities, countries, WE ALL must learn how to bear different burdens together according to our abilities and faith.
Learn from others. Prevention is best
Since moving my uncle with too little a help I have come to knowledge that hiring movers would have been a great value than having had to lay in bed resting a sore back and burnt out caves and arms, tired and terribly sore. Surely if and when I ever move I will most boldly see to it that there is sufficient help “moving forward” pun intended. What should have taken a few hours lasted morning to evening and are bodies didn’t go in peace.
Everyone has a role
One thing my brother mentioned that I’m still thinking about is that there are primary and secondary people needed when moving. The primary people he said, are those who are able to lift heavier items while the secondary folk are able to carry lighter loads and often awkward things like, lamps, fans, and bunches of bunches of knickknacks. When there is enough help all works can get done as everyone does what they can manage, but when there is little or no help, the weight of the burden will surely wear you away.
I must say a thankful thanks to the Spirit of Christ for having reveled this to me in His word. Thank you greatly Oh God and King. You are from everlasting to everlasting. I pray you stir those who read this to also heed and do as they have read and heard. In your name, Jesus I ask.