Taking It Light


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When you’re out and about, do you ever find yourself  so preoccupied with your own thoughts that you tune out the talk around you? Not me. Without even trying, I hear snippets of all kinds of conversation. I’m not listening deliberately, but I hear anyway. Perhaps it’s the curious writer in me.

Once as I  walked behind two students on a university campus sidewalk. I caught snatches of what they were saying, but it was when they got ready to go their separate ways that I heard the words that stuck with me. The young woman told the fellow she was with, “Take it light.”  English teacher that I am, I found the slangy usage  unusual yet interesting, and when I thought about it, what that  student said bordered on the profund, something of a metaphor applicable to life.  Taking it light seems to me like a  good thing for all  of us high-octane people  to do.  It’s  similar to the well-worn cliche, “Take it easy, ”   but the young woman  put a  creative shine on it to  encourage her friend not to worry, not to get stressed about  the hundred-and-one things that can unsettle a university student’s life.

Today we don’t have to eavesdrop  on our fellow travelers on life’s sidewalk  since what they’re saying comes through loud and clear, and  we’re unlikely to hear  an upbeat suggestion to take it light. Wherever we go, complaints tend to filter into everyday conversation–and there is a lot to complain about these days: inflation at an all-time high, gas prices giving us “pain at the pump,” and  food prices shaving our weekly budget. And beyond our personal reasons for complaint,  a war rages on in Ukraine when we’d expected it to be over in a short time;  supply chain tangles cause shortages, now including baby formula;  the stock market’s  wild swings  threaten us with financial whiplash; and the COVID virus is stubbornly  resisting our efforts to leave it behind.  The problems are enormous, leaving us feeling like Atlas in Greek mythology,  destined to hold up the heavens on his shoulder.

We don’t have to ignore the pressing problems in the world in order to take it light, however,  but dwelling on them  is  the easiest way to guarantee that we’re miserable. Fixating on the problems can only create anxiety, even deprerssion,  as we  constantly monitor  society’s scale to see which way it’s tipping. Well, the scale will always be tipping one way or the other, sometimes on the good side, sometimes on the bad. That’s the way life works, and if we understand this, we’ll begin to take it light,  because a lot of the things we may be anxious  about are beyond our abiility to change anyway. So let’s choose to concentrate on what we can change—for one, we can monitor our spending habits to help us deal with the escalating prices; and we can keep  our consumption of the news to a manageable level that will not unsettle  our emotional well-being. We can also endeavor to nurture  our relationships with our family and friends,  and, realizing that others live in the same world that is bombarded by stressful circumstances, we can make time to speak encouragement and grace into their lives. We can care deeply about what’s happening in our world,  but do so without worry and without anxiety.

Life’s landscape may look calamitous, but do not worry.  Long before we came into this age of anxiety, Jesus  gave us  the formula for dealing with the situation. “Come to  Me,” He said, extending an invitation to all  “who are  heavy-laden,”  or burdened.  He holds out the attractive promise that “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).  We’re invited  to throw off the suffocating yoke of life’s perplexities that we cannot solve by ourselves and take on His easy one. When we do, we’ll find that even in the midst of the  stresses, we can take it light.




396,279 Butterfly Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from Dreamstime

“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow,
but only empties today of its strength.”
Charles Spurgeon


    • Judith Nembhard

      Hello Mery,’
      It’s so good to hear from you. Glad to know the post says something worthwhile.Thanks for your kind comment.
      How is your writing life? We’re all in this together, cheering on each other.
      Best regards. JN

  • Judy Brown

    Thank you for reminding me to “take it light.” It is a blessing to have you as a friend and neighbor!

    • Judith Nembhard

      Hello Judy,
      Thanks for the kind words, which I wholeheartedly return to you. You are a special person, doing so much to make the world a better place. It’s encouraging having you as one of my constant readers. Thank you. JN

  • Ouida E. Westney

    Hello Judith:
    This is so very true. I not only enjoyed reading it, but was also affirmed by it.
    Blessings on you.

    • Judith Nembhard

      Hello Ouida,
      I’m glad the idea behund “take it light” resonated with you. I have carried it in my head for a long time, but in our unusually conflicting times, I saw how much we need to apply those words. Thank you very much for your affirming comment. JN

  • Fartema Mae Fagin

    Hi Judith, this week (June 4) marks the third year since my late spouse went to sleep in Jesus. I’m trying to ‘take it light’ and find comfort in the special memories I shared with him on our journey together. Thank you for being a support throughout the journey. Love never fails.

    • Judith Nembhard

      Hi Fartema,
      The time has slipped by so fast and with it some of the pain, but never the beautiful memories. You have a treasure trove of memories that will actually help you to take it light. Blessings on you, my friend. JN

  • Fartema Fagin

    Taking it light. Today marks the third year of my beloved spouse’s death date as he is now resting in Jesus. Taking it light. Thank God for the Sabbath. Sabbath rest. Thanks for this reminder. As the ‘Golden Girls’ theme song lyric rings out, ‘Thank you for being my friend.’

    • Judith Nembhard

      And thank you, thank you, Fartema, for being my friend. Your friendship is an inestimable gift. You are a blessing. JN