Weightless Burdens

My sin and I is very similar to that of a young boy holding onto a bouquet of balloons:

He holds onto these balloons with hopes of bringing them along whenever he goes. He just got them from the carnival, and carries his head high with joy. He looks at them with excitement and thinks to himself, “I cannot wait to bring these home.” As the day goes on, however, the young boy becomes weary of holding onto those same balloons of which, only hours ago, he was overwhelmed with joy and pleasure towards. For way too long, he holds onto them, and naturally, they continue to follow him from behind wherever he walks. He later complains, maybe pouts, or even gets annoyed at them, yet he still holds on tightly to the strings. This bouquet at one point gave him happiness, and so he thinks that perhaps later on in the day (maybe after dinner?), these balloons will repeat this same effect. He continues his walk and ever so subtly the way he moves changes, and however minor it may be, his demeanor changes along with it. If he walks too fast, the balloons will bump his head if he begins to slow down, and yet if he stands still, the wind will surely blow the balloons towards him and bump his head too. Rather than cut ties with the balloons, the young boy extends his arm out to keep the bouquet slightly out of reach. A temporary fix to the solution, but it ignores the main issue: the balloons are still not let go of. After a while, the once found pleasure of the balloons fade and that very same boy grows to hate them. They become burdensome and he wants to get rid of them. But for some reason or another, he cannot seem to do that. 

Maybe tomorrow the pleasure will return? Maybe the more he holds the balloons he will grow to love them as he once did? And besides, what would people say if they saw him let go of these balloons out in public? He should not trouble someone with such a sight. So he holds them a little longer. His annoyance turns to hatred, his hatred turns to agony, and his agony turns into despair, and he thinks to himself that he will never be able to rid himself of this feeling; of these balloons. However, the reality of the whole ordeal is that all he must do is simply loosen his grip on the strings of the weightless burdens. The boy’s father even asks with a smile on his face, “let me take those balloons for you.” But the boy refuses. And so as time goes on throughout the day, the young boy cannot remember a time without these balloons, and longs for a life without them, and yet ignores the simplest of ways in which to remove them.

Yes, how striking the similarities between sin and balloons are. They follow us wherever we go, not allowing us a reprieve, and all we want is to be freed from them. We think they weigh us down and over-encumber us. We think they are things we are meant to carry for the rest of our lives. But a closer look reveals that they are nothing more than weightless burdens to be given to our Father, if only we dare to loosen our grip on those strings.

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