by Tim Howard
Packing for a trip can result in a lot of baggage and with current prices extremely high for extra luggage, it’s beneficial to pack light.
On one trip we arrived at the airport and a pleasant young man approached us to see if he might help us with our bags. Since we didn’t pack light…the smartest thing would have been to say yes. Thinking of the cost and yielding to the frugal side of my nature, however, I said No Thanks. That was a mistake!
Vacations are not the only time we get stuck carrying too many bags.
All of us accumulate baggage over the years as we travel on life’s journey. Our past decisions create baggage that has present ramifications and future consequences.
A mother tells her teenager that she is stupid and didn’t want her when she was born. The girl is deeply wounded and begins to carry pain around with her wherever she goes - That’s baggage! A few years later a friend betrays her and she again experiences agonizing painful emotions - more baggage.
Before she knows it the hurts pile up and she carries the suitcases of anger, resentment and bitterness. Her thoughts become cynical and condemning. She begins to think, I am not good enough. I’ll never be able to trust anyone ever again. Life becomes a constant task of moving baggage from one place to another. Fatigue and exhaustion set in and the baggage continues to grow…
We all have a tendency to pick up baggage in similar ways. Before we know it we are investing so much energy in carrying and coping with the baggage that it gets in the way of everything else. Some baggage is like trash. We need to take it to the curb on a regular basis so it can be disposed of.
The good news is that Jesus, just like the pleasant young man at the airport, offers to help you with your baggage. Listen to His invitation from Matthew 11:28-30, "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." The Message
Here are three things Jesus says about baggage.
1. Whatever baggage you carry is yours and you must acknowledge it. Others may have helped you pack the stuff but it’s still yours.
2. When you accept responsibility for your baggage, you have authority over it. You therefore, don’t have to carry it around or remain isolated from others.
3. If Jesus is asked to help you, He will show you how to repack your bags so your load will be a whole lot lighter. According to Galatians 5, He will also lead you to people who can help you carry your burdens.
You aren’t alone! We all have baggage! Some is good and some not so good. Jesus is asking if you would like some help with your baggage. I encourage you to not follow the example I set at the airport. You will be further ahead if you say YES, I would love some help rather than No Thank You. Whatever the cost – it will be worth it. The price will be far less than what you will pay if you don’t allow Jesus to help.