Get Rid Of Your Baggage Before It Gets Rid of You… Hello Hump Day readers. Today we take an adventure without all the baggage. Yep, I’m not kidding! Going on this adventure is worth it without that baggage. In fact, it’s really powerful and amazingly liberating. So, let’s dive in and find ways to toss the baggage we don’t need.

Can you travel light? Honestly, I find it difficult. When I am off somewhere teaching or leading a retreat, I load-up. I don’t want to miss a thing that I may need but, after many years of this I have learned a tough lesson: most of what I take is completely un-needed! I haul to one place, and bring it right back home unused. It has taken me a while to realize that this is dumb. Often, I am on my own and I have to haul this in and out and every time I do I say to myself “gosh, this is heavy, do I need all this?”

I think life is like that. We compartmentalize this time, this experience, this…this…this…until our compartments are full and we are exhausted. Who of us has not “picked up a few bags” that we thought we needed but never used it? Or worse, thought it was the greatest thing and instead it was a bust. Baggage can do that to us. Friends, it’s time to ‘travel-light!’

Let’s take an inventory of our baggage. Remember, baggage comes in all kinds of sizes and those sizes are not always tangible. For instance, who is still hauling around a baggage of guilt, a sack full of discontent, loneliness, fear, grief, worries…yikes, is it no wonder our backs are bent and we are exhausted to the hilt?!

Baggage has a variety of definitions: as a noun it is bags, luggage, cases, etc. that you take with you when you travel. As a noun/adjective it is defined as: the beliefs and feelings that you have which influence how you think and behave. Let’s face it, we all carry around a lot of baggage as well as emotional baggage with us—stuck like Velcro to our body, soul, mind and heart. We’d like to not carry all this but fear keeps us from letting it go. What if we might need that one day, right? WRONG!

NO-no-no-no, says our loving Savior! Instead, Jesus tells us to “set that stuff down, do it now because they are burdens you do NOT need to carry!” Yet we say, “But Jesus, I may need it” and then He gently reminds us of his words from Matthew 11:28-30, using the Message Bible with a flavor of today’s language:

Are you tired? Worn out?
Burned out on religion? –
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.”

“If it were only so easy” we say, and then we foist the baggage back over our shoulder and trudge along. Baggage is also a synonym of luggage. And that is exactly what we are doing, lugging stuff we fear we can’t let go of yet it is truly doing us no darn good. In fact, it will bury us long before we are actually dead! Living with these burdens shoves us down when Jesus wants to lift us up.

Doesn’t that sound just like what we all need—a “Jesus-pick-me-up?” We don’t have to send in a request and wait for His answer, we just need to “give it up” and let Jesus lighten our load. Can you open your gripped fingers and let those bags go? Imagine how wonderful your hands and bent back will feel…even more, your heart will be filled with delight and your emotions will be more joyful. Sounds like a win-win to me, AMEN.