After over fifty years of shoulder checking experience, what I pass on in the checking is a shared feeling. It passes from me to them returning in kind. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
To this day I remember the pressure of my Father’s hand on my shoulder. When a man, especially an older man with the strength of days and the heritage of toil in his hand, presses it down on a young man’s shoulder and then tightens the grip, it’s a very unique and special feeling. I’ve always called this shoulder checking. There’s no imposing or invading in shoulder checking like this, only reassurance and a sense of abiding. When my Father wanted to make a point with the assurance that it would stick for a while, he’d reach out with his right hand, grasp my shoulder and prepare for the moment of wisdom that was about to invade my impressionable mind. The grip would last until the final words were given. There was release and he’d walk away. I learned the method from him and have used it to this day when dealing with my son and now my grandsons. Some might find this an affront; I know that it was never meant to be so for my Father nor by me today. It’s a timeless message for bridging generations and sharing legacy. It’s all about love from the perspective of someone who’s been there.
Why did my Father choose to share with me this way? I’m sure that a good part of his habit was founded in the relationship he had with his father, my Grandfather. He was a shoulder grabber as well and this skill easily crosses generations. I shoulder check today because it’s a part of the male heritage of my family. One thing I know, however, after over fifty years of shoulder checking experience, what I pass on in the checking is a shared feeling. It passes from me to them returning in kind.
Here’s a thought from Edwin Markham. “There is a destiny that makes us brothers; none goes his way alone. All that we send into the lives of others comes back into our own.”(Edwin Markham.)
“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” (Matthew 11:29). When Christ lifts the yoke that he carries, the one his Father gave him, and presses it down upon our shoulders, he’s shoulder checking us in the same fashion as did my Father me, and his father, him. His goal is a communion between his spirit and ours. When my Father shoulder checked me, my first thought usually was, “Now what did I do? Do we have to do this now?” It’s really no different when Christ lays that yoke down upon our shoulders in the form of illness, broken relationships, financial hardships or personal failures. Our first thought may be, “Why me Lord? Can’t you just let me be like other people?” He gentle closes his grip on our shoulder, locking down the yoke in place and gently reminding us, “But, you aren’t like other people; you’re my own sheep, not just some nameless member of a flock.” Locked with Christ in his reassuring grip, we become identified with him, sharing our part of the burden with him, but never more than we can bear. Our joy is in his strength, a joy that can only be experienced in the checking of our shoulders by his yoke. Pray Lord never remove it from us, as we love being special to you.
We pray. Thank you Lord for loving us so much that you are willing to share your yoke of love with us. Sometimes it hurts when you place it over our shoulders and we complain. Forgive us Lord when we whine and long to be just a simple unbeliever, lost in our sin but freed from the burdens of this life. May we always value your yoke and bear it proudly as a mark of who we are and why we are purposed to live this wonderful life. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)
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