I asked a retired military friend of mine about carrying a ruck sack the other day. He told me that for the qualification march each one weighs about 80 pounds and then another 25 or 30 pounds in battle gear. It is one man or woman per kit. Each is responsible for carrying their own load.
Likewise, we are each responsible for our own ruck sacks – our own loads – our own daily toils. My daily toil looks different than yours does, I’m sure. For the time being my toil is being a single mom with a full time job, working contract to contract, maintaining a healthy home and life for my little family. It frequently consists of specialist appointments, car troubles, extended family drama and various other hiccups. This is mine to carry and I am uniquely designed to do so.
My friend said that although it is each person per kit that the military promotes working as a team. He said “Oh my basic training I finished and ran back three kilometers to help a girl that was not going to finish.”
Likewise, there are times when people in our lives have excessive burdens that require us to pull together and help.
Understanding this, I am seeing two types of people frequently:
1) The ruck sack dropper
2) The ruck sack hoarder
The first is someone we all know. They think that their ruck sack is too big. They drop it and point at it saying how unfair it is that they must carry this! They whine and complain that they have it so hard until someone picks it up for them. Continually carrying their ruck sack not only breaks your back, but enables them and their immaturity. It is not your job to pay their bills, feed their kids, clean their home and do their work assignments for them – or whatever tasks are unique to their own ruck sack.
The second type goes from person to person in their life picking up cargo until they are beyond what they are capable of carrying and become resentful and angry at others for having to carry it. I’m not sure if their self worth comes from the amount they are capable of carrying at any given moment, or if it is easier to focus on someone else’s ruck sack than it is to focus on their own, but either way it is a quick way to crash and burn.
I used to try both of these. I would carry my own sack while picking up more and more until I dropped it all and wanted rescuing. It was immature and irresponsible of me. I am sharing this now out of love, as I watch what happens to my loved ones when they crash and burn or stand and whine. I understand first hand that it takes training to be able to carry that 110 + pounds around. Sometimes it even takes putting down things of less importance that don’t need to be carried.
You’ve got this – but if you’re ever burdened and just cant take another step I would be happy to run back three kilometers to run with you!
If this topic interests you I would highly recommend the book Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud. He briefly touches on loads vs burdens, but also addresses so much more about relationships and setting healthy limits.