Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, 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. (Mt. 11:28-29)
During a workshop I lead on team building, I always ask if anyone has ever fallen into playing Atlas. After allowing for a few uncomfortable moments, most of the attendees will raise their hands.
I will then ask why they try to put the whole world on their shoulders. Their answers are fascinating.
One will say, “I don’t trust others to get it done.”
Another, “I don’t have time to train anyone else.”
Another, “I like control.”
Another, “If I share the work, what happens if they do it better than me?”
What happens when we play Atlas? Arrogance. Resentment. Burnout. Despair. Diminished family life. Broken relationships. Damaged health.
What can help us to drop the Atlas-Burden? Lighten up and not take ourselves so seriously. Accept that it’s God’s job to run the universe, not ours. Laugh more often, especially at our selves. Let go of always having to be right. Stop being a perfectionist. Share responsibilities with others and celebrate their gifts.
The most important and effective way for us to stop playing Atlas is to come under the yoke of Jesus. Until we do, we will be weary and heavy laden. Life is hard. Work is hard. Love is hard. We need Jesus. We need the help only He can give. We need to join our life to His. We need to cast our burden upon Jesus so that He can lead us and sometimes carry us.
I encourage us to hear Jesus’ invitation to come to Him and give us rest. He’s speaking to us right now. May we take the yoke of Jesus upon our life, so that we can leave the old Altas-self behind.
- Are you playing Atlas right now at work or at home? Acting like everything is up to you? Unwilling to share the responsibilities or burdens with anyone else? If so, why?
- If indeed you are playing Atlas in any part of your life, what do you need to let go of, drop, or share?
- Jesus is inviting you to cast your burdens upon Him. What would it take for you to trust that He can carry them better than you can? With Jesus at your side, isn’t it time to stop being so heavy laden?