"Pack mule problem"

The mule needed a vacation. Ten times a day, he'd been hauling 500-pound loads to a construction site at the top of a hill. Not surprisingly, the overtired animal finally collapsed. Fortunately for the broken-down beast, a group of concerned onlookers demanded that the mule's owner give him a 3-day rest.

Everyone needs an occasional break from the burden of work, especially those of us who are engaged in Christian ministry. We can really relate to the mule's plight when the "people issues" pile up and our knees buckle under the weight.

Moses had the pack-mule problem when it came to settling disputes among the Israelites. His father-in-law Jethro noticed, and said, "You're going to wear yourself out . . . . This job is too heavy a burden for you" (v.18). Like Moses, we've got to pay attention when people start to notice signs of burnout in us.

Fortunately, being overburdened doesn't have to end our effectiveness for God. Jethro advised Moses to "continue to be the people's representative before God, bringing their disputes to Him" (v.19). Moses would have to find a way, however, to share the workload. And he did. First, he instructed the people in God's laws so they could resolve many issues themselves (v.20). Then he handpicked some leaders to handle the smaller issues that still needed to be addressed, while he handled the more complex stuff. Just as Jethro predicted, they helped Moses to carry the load, "making the task easier for [him]" (v.22).

Do you have a pack-mule problem in doing good things? Look for people who are interested in how you're serving and ask for help! After all, we're supposed to "share each other's burdens (Galatians 6:2). , Jennifer Benson Schuldt, Our Daily Journey

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