Your life will be as bright as the noonday sun. Job 11:17

Unpack Those Bags

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My pastor tells members of missions teams to pack their suitcases then take half of what they packed out! Good advice. But easier said than done.

How do you choose what to take out? That shirt? Those shoes? The towels? It all seems so important. Good boy and girl scouts are always prepared. You never know what will happen on one of these trips, so you try to plan for every scenario imaginable. And the good news is that if there is an emergency, you are prepared. The bad news? Navigating with that luggage!

Three experiences come readily to mind.

During the first, my luggage exceeded the maximum allowable weight. There I was with my things sprawled across the airport floor trying to shuffle, rearrange and part with (as in throw into the trash) my stuff. Some I was able to tuck into someone else’s luggage, but some simply had to be tossed. If only I’d left it at home.

During the second experience, my strap broke AND a wheel came off – all because my luggage was over-stuffed. It was a nightmare for me to carry it and a burden for team members to help me. After all, they had their own luggage.

And my third experience was similarly embarrassing and stressful. The team was literally running from one gate to another because we had mere minutes to catch a connecting flight. The team was running, and I was struggling, fumbling, dragging, dropping and stumbling because my luggage was simply too heavy. If only I hadn’t brought so much. I was miserable.

And that’s how it is when we carry excessive emotional baggage. It weighs us down. It keeps us from navigating freely. It causes us to struggle, fumble, drag and stumble. Romans 8:1-2 (NIV) teaches, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”

If you are carrying heavy baggage, it’s time to unpack. Don’t shuffle it around or try to rearrange it. Toss it. Let it go.


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