The Rev. Canon Anne E. Kitch
Canon for Ministry Formation and Transitions

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Psalm 51:11

“You need to take something off your plate,” my wise friend tells me in what is perhaps the understatement of the year.

No kidding. But rather than protest the impossibility of this, I pledge to give it a try. I make a list of all that falls to me and am surprised to discover the phrase “worrying about” appearing over and over again.

How easy it is to collect worries along the way, to shoulder them and trudge along as if transporting such burdens is a sacred duty. Fears, suspicions, concerns claim space in our hearts as if by right, whispering twisted justifications and crowding out life-sustaining gifts.

If I am going to be able to travel the next part of this Advent journey, and prepare for the pilgrimage ahead, I need to set aside unnecessary burdens. Rather, I need to ask for help from the one who promises relief to all who are heavy-laden. I offer to God a prayer of contrition and cross off my list what I am no longer willing to carry—and am somewhat surprised to discover a lighter heart, and a release of the tension that has knotted my shoulders. I stand a bit straighter and set out, wondering what gifts I will discover today.



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