Removing the weight of selfishness
A helium-filled balloon and plastic weights. (Plastic weights are available where helium balloons are sold.) Small poster board signs shaped like weights and labeled "selfishness, laziness, and "grumpies" can be added.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).
Today I brought a balloon. I like balloons, don’t you? My favorites are the helium-filled balloons like this one. Do you know why? Because I enjoy watching them as they float up high. That also means that you have to be careful. If you are not careful, the balloon can get away from you and float up, up, and away! Right out of sight!
Jesus wants you to feel like this helium balloon. He wants your spirits to be lifted up and your problems to be light as air. If we put our trust in Jesus and do as he tells us, we can feel as light as this balloon. But when we don’t listen to Jesus, we get all weighed down.
These little weights are like the wrong things that we do. Sometimes we think only of ourselves and don’t share. We insist on going first and we want to keep everything for ourselves. See what happens when I put the selfish weight on the balloon? Then there are those times when we don’t want to be good helpers. We just sit back and let others do all of the work. See how the unhelpful weight pulls the balloon down? Sometimes we may be ill-tempered and pout and whine. If we don’t get our way we can get pretty grumpy. What will happen when I put this grumpy weight on our balloon? It just keeps going lower and lower just like our spirits.
Let’s get rid of our "grumpies;" you don’t always have to have your way. And let’s take off our "lazies;" a job is much more fun when everyone helps. Now all we have left is our "me me’s." If we can share and let others go first sometimes we can get rid of the "me me’s," and look how high our spirit can go. (Let the balloon fly up to the ceiling, attached to a very long coil of ribbon or fishing line, of course).
Jesus wants us to have light and high spirits. We can if we only follow him and love one another.
Dear Jesus, you showed us how to love one another and think of someone besides ourselves. Help us to let go of the selfishness that weighs us down. Help us to lift our spirits by putting the needs of others ahead of our own. Amen.
© 2001 by Sharon Lynn. Used by permission