Yoke: a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull. (online dictionary)
A yoke implies servitude, of man or beast. We might consider that old-world thinking, but I see the yoke system functioning today. You, me, we’re all yoked to some burden. For some, their burden lacks significance and purpose.
Do you wear any of these yokes?
CULTURE. Who or what tells us how to dress, what to eat, and decides that a quarterback throwing a pigskin should be paid more than a teacher coaching the next generation of leaders and scholars? The culture. Unless you make your own clothing, you have to buy what the “fashion gurus” declare is trending. Is not the young teenager that picks a particular dress off the rack serving fashion gurus? Under their yoke, she then pulls the burden of living up to their fashion model.
MEDIA. (Need I really go here?) Deception is excessively easy these days. Point in case, my son and his college roommate did a project for a film class, one that was to persuade the viewer to take action. They featured a near-extinct squirrel somewhere in Africa, urging viewers to help support the critters. The professional interviews and the squirrel’s photo on the cover of Time magazine had the class convinced. Both teacher and students were shocked to learn everything was made up, including the squirrel. My son earned an A for demonstrating the powerful influence of media.
Are we more
than we care
RELIGION. A touchy subject. Do the “laws” of your religion manipulate or intimidate you to work or eat a certain way? Do these laws shame you for wrong behavior, constantly reminding you of your inadequacy? Is this not religious servitude, or pulling the burden of what common man believes is going to make you right before God?
“I’M A REBEL. I do my own thing,” you say. I call that servitude to self, which conforms to the Great-Is-Me epidemic. Countering the culture sucks up a lot of energy when we’re constantly dressing and behaving differently merely to make a point. It’s confining. You’re pulling a burden of self-protection and self-promotion that gets heavier over time and with age.
Service, or slavery, is inherent in every human. We all serve either our own desires or someone else’s desires, good or bad. Since we can’t escape what inherently operates in us, wouldn’t it be awesome to align our servitude with an everlasting purpose?
“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matt 11:29-30 (emphasis mine)
Rest (anapauo): cessation of toil, refreshment, intermission.
Easy (chrestos): that which is useful, pleasant, good, comfortable, suitable, and serviceable.
God’s idea of servitude involves refreshment, pleasant, good, comfortable, suitable, and productive, all gently guided by the Maker of the Universe—IRRESISTIBLE. But am I willing to change my way of thinking to embrace this servitude?
Media, culture, religion, and rebellion would then shrink from rulership over my life into their proper place—simply the stuff of earth that will pass away as the world does 1John2.
“My yoke is easy…” A yoke is a two-person design. God doesn’t expect us to serve alone but side-by-side with Jesus and empowered by His strength. We just say, “Yes, Lord.”
KARATE Kid. Think of that scene in the movie where young grasshopper had been waxing cars and painting fences—boring and tedious. And then the all-knowing master showed him how to apply the warrior skills he’d been developing all along. The master gave him purpose.
How about you?
Ready to shake off the shackles of slavery and
slip under the divine yoke of Heavenly servitude?
I’m totally in!
“Humble yourself before the Lord, and He will lift you up (exalt you) in due time.”