I'm a notoriously light packer. Maybe it's from flying on standby so much. I never know what flight I'll be on, or what route I'll take, so I pack everything in my trusty duffle bag and backpack. Perhaps I shouldn't call myself a "light" packer, because I can fit quite a bit in those little bags. Carrying them through airports (or through cities--true story) can make them heavy indeed. But I'm stubborn about it. It's my stuff. I'll carry it with me.
My stubbornness has come in handy a time or two. Once, I had to bail on a flight because the pilot abandoned the plane. He landed it, but then walked away and disappeared without a word, leaving a planeful of anxious travelors who needed to make international connections. Thanks to my ability to read between the lines of the announcements, and to the kindness of the operations agent, I was able to grab my carry-ons and make a whirlwind drive by taxi to another airport where I caught the last seat on the last plane to my destination. Whew! (But that was also the trip where I discovered just how heavy bags can be when you have to carry them across a city.)
On one of my few trips when I knew both my starting point and my end destination, the first flight was too crowded for me to take both my carry-ons. I was only allowed one personal item. Everything else was checked through to the final destination. I was super apprehensive about it. But I had no choice other than handing over my trusty duffle bag.
Much to my surprise, it was glorious!
For the rest of the trip, I felt so light and carefree! I had room. I didn't have to wrestle with the overhead luggage bins. I didn't have to carry things through airports. I didn't have to sqeeze myself and all my goodies into tiny European bathrooms. It was wonderful! And when I made it home, my stuff was right there waiting for me.
We all have things that we are carrying with us through life -- baggage. It's not an unfamiliar metaphor. And we've all been encouraged to unpack our baggage, or to leave things at an altar. But here's a new picture for you. What if instead of seeing our stuff as "baggage," we pictured it as "luggage"? After all, some of my most painful memories (my heaviest bags) seem to stick as close as the overhead bin, and get heavier the further I have to carry them.
What if I made the choice to check my bags all the way through to their destination? After all, at the end of this journey, everything I have (the good and the bad) is going to be laid at the feet of my heavenly father. Rather than carry it all the way there, I'll just send it through and leave it at his feet now.
I guess it's the same principle. But sometimes the mental picture makes all the difference. And this one lit up my heart because while I don't know what route my life will take, I do know where I'm from and where I'm going. I won't be leaving my
baggage luggage somewhere for me to go back to. From now on, I'm sending it on ahead.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~ Matthew 11:28-30