In New York City on 5th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan there are two statues across the street from each other. On one side of the street is Rockefeller Center. Out front of the building known today as 30 Rock, is the famous statue of Atlas holding up the world. With every muscle of his perfectly formed body taught with strain, he holds the world on his shoulders. You can see the burden of all the world’s weight coming down upon him in his furrowed brow.
Across the street is Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. Behind the high alter is a shrine of the boy Jesus. There is a statue of Jesus, perhaps eight or nine, holding the world with no effort in the palm of his hand.
Comparing the two statues: how stressed Atlas looks with the world’s weight and how peaceful is the face of our Lord.
What a powerful illustration of the choice we all have to make. We can try to carry the world with all its burdens, worries and cares on our shoulders or we can give them to Jesus and let Him carry them in His hands.
On our shoulders the burdens of the world can be overwhelming. In His hands, they seem small. On our shoulders we strain and fall. In His hands, He holds them effortlessly.
We all have burdens in this world. We have struggles and problems. But we all have a choice in what we do with them. We can keep them on our shoulders and let them weigh us down and stress us out. Or we can put them in the hands of Jesus and experience His peace.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:6–7 (NKJV)