The Mule

by W. Robert Boyd

I always hated being last, being the mule. I was last, in a family of seven, to get dinner, last to use the shower, or last to be picked for playground teams. I despised it.

I was sixteen before I realized the shower water was supposed to be warm. The frustration of getting or being the left over was infuriating, and I was always braying about it. Then I joined the Army, and I was the pack mule always pulling up the rear, carrying the heavy load, eating everyone’s dust or getting smacked in the face with branches, followed by being the butt of everyone’s jokes.

I longed to be first, and I was always raising a fuss. Like a mule, I would whine and chomp at the bit, and kick and bite, but not once did I ask myself why I was last. Never was that position ever thought to be anything more than an aggravation, or a punishment.

I never realized how important my place in the world was. My ability to carry the weight was a boon from God. He made me able to endure what others could not, and my role was important.

The mysteries became clear recently when I was born again. I realized that my God given power was that I could take on the burden of others. I could take the stress and pressure of the day to day.

Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” The Lord had given me the gift of endurance, allowing me to shoulder the heavy weight for others. This was not something I could do under my own strength. I needed the strength and conviction of the Lord.

Recently, the Holy Spirit gave me compassion I had never possessed. I discovered that bearing another’s burden is a privilege and not a tiresome toil. I have the honor to give to others what Christ has given to me.          

W. Robert Boyd is a disabled vet who has recently rediscovered the Lord. He is excited about the ways God has been affecting his family and himself, his relationships and his ability to write again. He is active in his church and the local Christian Writers Group.

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