Whenever I go anywhere that requires I pack a suitcase, I take more than I need.
If you’ve read my earlier post, “Decisions, Decisions”, you know I hate to make decisions. Packing requires a lot of decisions, and I question myself for every single item I do or do not put into my suitcase.
What if I take the wrong things? What if I’m cold? (I’m almost always cold unless I’m outside and it’s 80 degrees or higher). But, even if it’s cold inside, what if it’s hot outside? What if someone wants to go somewhere, will I need casual or dressy attire? I need hair-care products. I need make-up. I need coordinated shoes and jewelry and sweaters. And probably a blanket.
It takes me a week to figure out what to take.Then I change my mind. I pack; I unpack; I repack. I mutter to myself. Until finally, ready or not, I zip the suitcase and go, telling myself if I need something I didn’t bring, I can always get it when I arrive at my destination.
In reality, I always have a lot more stuff than I’ll ever need. Most of the stuff I drag with me sits, unused, in my suitcase..
I have way too much baggage. Most of it is unnecessary and a waste of time. I spend more time worrying about it and rearranging it than I do using it.
It steals the fun of the journey.
It weighs me down.
It gets in the way of what’s important: enjoying the time I have with other people.
So, why do I insist on carrying all of this baggage? What am I so afraid of? What am I trying to prove?
More importantly, who am I trying to please? Someone I don’t know? A person I don’t think respects me enough? Someone who already loves me, warts and all? Myself?
Here’s a better question: who do I NEED to please?
Answer: only God.
To please Him, I don”t need baggage. I don’t even need luggage. Not. One. Thing.
The one thing God asks for is faith.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
He freely gives me His love. I don’t need to bring Him anything in return. He loves me so much, He takes the burden of all that unneeded baggage and replaces it with the very best–His Son.
I don’t need to waver or worry or pack or unpack and repeat.
Then, with nothing weighing me down, I have more than I ever need. Again and again, Jesus told His followers and His critics faith allowed His power to work in their life. Faith as small as a mustard seed.
If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
I need to release my grip on what I think is needed and give the baggage to Him.
Come to me all, 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
In return, I get gifts I could never pack on my own: love; peace; joy; eternal life; a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the God of the universe.
Freedom from my guilt and shame for not measuring up. Freedom from every sin. Freedom from what others expect or think. Freedom from what I think or expect of myself. Freedom from what I think and expect of others.
I only need one thing: the saving grace of Jesus, given to me by God. I don’t deserve it. I didn’t earn it.
I can travel without a suitcase.
I have what I need: redemption because of Jesus. God’s gift to me.
What more could I possibly ever need?