Take it Easy

Tim Beals

READ : Matthew 11:25-30

My yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (v. 30)

In the American classic Moby Dick, Herman Melville portrays a turbulent scene in which a whale boat crashes across the ocean in search of the great white whale. The sailors work furiously, with all their attention and energy concentrated on the task.

But in the vessel is one man who does nothing. He does not row or sweat or shout. This man is the harpooner, poised and waiting. Melville writes: “To ensure the greatest efficiency in the dart, the harpooners of this world must start to their feet out of idleness, and not from out of toil.”

The harpooner represents everything we’ve been taught to avoid: poised idleness, patient inactivity. Yet he illustrates a vital truth of the Christian life. To be effective, the harpooner must know and be able to do what is expected of him; he must also know when to act, and when to rest.

Jesus has called us to an unstressed life – the life of the harpooner. But somehow it seems more compelling to work furiously like the oarsmen. Instead, Jesus leads us into the quietness of his work done his way – an “easy” yoke and a “light” burden.

Why does life sometimes seem so overwhelming? It may be that we have taken on more than God intended.


Remind me again of your best for me.