Letting Go of Your Baggage
By Lisa Logan
Several years ago, when traveling around Europe with a friend, I had several bags with me: my large suitcase, my backpack and my small carry on. To say the least, I grew some serious arm and leg muscles climbing subway staircases and hilly cities with all that baggage. This trip was a fun one, but it taught me to travel light. Carrying around all that extra material was not worth it, because it went unused and it cost every time we boarded a domestic flight.
It was similar in my spiritual life. I used to carry around a backpack full of rocks. I packed those stinky, ugly memories, into my backpack one by one until I was bent over trudging through the mud. Not a pleasant image is it? My guess is that some of you sisters reading this are carrying around not only one backpack, but luggage you’ve been paying for and taken ownership of, with nametags stuck to them, “if lost, please return.”
Just like learning to travel light during my Europe trip, I learned that it is much easier to deal with my pain than to carry it around. Why do we even carry around our baggage from the past? I think, to remind ourselves that we were hurt – to protect ourselves from it happening again. Our baggage helps us to build walls. We began to stack our luggage bags around us when we see danger and we say, “I’m NEVER letting that happen again.” And up the suitcases go.
This time, when I went on vacation for a week, I took one carry on. I felt so much lighter, so much better. I learned that it’s better to travel light. Even more so because I didn’t have to pay to check my bag! Isn’t that sort of how it feels when learn to let go? I think this is what Jesus meant when He told his disciples to leave behind their staff and bag for the way. “Take nothing for the journey, He told them, “no staff, no bag, no bread,no money, no second tunic.” Luke 9:3. Our luggage gets in the way of our mission, our call to love.
Have you ever met a person who seems free? They emulate the song by Hillsong which says “soar on the wings of eagles.” They run, they laugh, they dance, and enjoy even the simplest things. Perhaps you’ve noticed that some of the freest people don’t have much. Perhaps their shoes are worn, but their hearts are not. They are living even though they fall and get dirty many times over. What’s the secret? They have learned to let go. It’s much easier to live life without that heavy backpack weighing you down.
The reality is, we’ve all got baggage. Even those who seem joyful of heart. The only difference is, they’ve learned to leave the bags behind. Dear sister, think about what’s weighing you down. Is it memories, hurts and pains of the past? If so, think one last time about them, give them all to Jesus and breathe a sigh of relief. Tear off that luggage tag that says your name on it. Become a child again and learn to jump in the puddles and play in the dirt. It might take a few tries of letting go, but when you finally do, you’ll feel light.
Sister, it’s a choice and I hope that you will leave your bags behind. Instead, ask God to fill your heart with things that are good; love, joy and peace. They will not cost you and you will laugh like never before.