Thursday, July 21, 2011

Excess Baggage

Perhaps one of the most expensive components of taking a vacation is getting to and from the place you are going.

It seems everything is a factor. Recently I have been checking on prices for rental cars. I tried looking up prices online and was astounded to see the current rate in the Fox Valley area was around $100 a day. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor and reattach it to my head! The price of fuel is through the roof.

Next, I looked at the airlines. It has been a while since I have flown. What amazed me was the fact that a traveler must pay extra to take baggage. It used to be a person could take two bags with and each had to be less than 50 lbs. Then, that changed to one bag at 50lbs. Now, American Airlines charges $25 for the first bag? Has it really been that long since I have flown? Yikes!

One thing led to the next and the next and as most of you who know me know, my brain can really jump from topic to topic. I ended up pondering the word baggage.

Baggage is defined as:

1. trunks, suitcases, etc., used in traveling; luggage.
2. the portable equipment of an army.
3. things that encumber one's freedom, progress, development, or adaptability; impediments: intellectual baggage that keeps one from thinking clearly; neurotic conflicts that arise from struggling with too much emotional baggage.

I started to wonder, what if God started charging us for all the extra baggage we insist on carrying with us all the time?

Why do we Christians insist on letting our past dictate who we are today? Yes, the events of the past should help us grow, become stronger and initiate change that is necessary for us to become the person/s God has ordained for us to be. Unfortunately, many Christians today choose to dwell in the past. We relive our painful pasts day after day. We let the baggage from our past keep us from the blessings God has for us.

Let’s say we take a walk and we pass 100 people on our journey. It’s guaranteed that each person we pass has a past that includes pain and trouble of some kind. The homeless man lost his wife in a fire while he was at work, now he faces each day with a bottle in a brown bag. The lady who is yelling at her kids doesn’t know any different, she was abused herself as a child. The women in the business suit had three miscarriages. The man driving the fancy sports car is lonely and has not a friend in the world he can trust. The Word says we WILL have trouble in this life. Trouble is not unique to you and I. It knocks on everyone’s door at some point in life.

The question is, what do we do with it once it knocks? How do we react? How do we let it affect us? How long do we let it affect us? Why should we Christians be different? The answer is as simple: Christ.

In John 16:33 Jesus himself says this: These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

We should be finding our peace solely in Him. Not in having the perfect childhood, money, plenty of food or lots of material possessions. All those things are immaterial. They have no bearing on eternity.

When we accepted Christ, we were supposed to hand all of our baggage over to him. He took it all upon Himself when he willingly put himself on the cross. Why do we insist on taking it back?

When our world is falling apart around us, we need to look to Him. I ask you this, is there something you have been holding on to? Something you should have given Christ when you stood before the cross? He is still willing to take that thing. Give it to Him and know peace.

If God was charging for all the excess baggage you are carrying…how much would you owe?

1 comment:

  1. If God charged for baggage, I'm certain I would have gone bankrupt many a time in my life.

    How wonderful a gift we have, that Jesus is willing to bear our burdens and sorrows. His love and peace are valuable beyond measure, yet we are oftentimes blind to see that.

    Great post, Darlene! Either you and my pastor share notes or God is trying to tell me something ;-)