Monday, November 7, 2011

Excess Baggage

This week I'm crossing the pond. Accompanied by my mom and two sisters, I'll be spending the week in London and Paris. I've been to London before. However, this time I will actually be leaving the airport.

Before I can watch the changing of the royal guard or climb the steps to Notre Dame, I have to pack my bags. Packing for seven days and variable weather conditions is a challenge. Dressing in layers is a good idea but takes up a lot more space in the suitcase. Maintaining the balance between looking cute and being comfortable results in more items to pack.

But how much is too much? At what point am I carrying far more than I need? Just because my suitcase has wheels doesn't mean it won't be hard to drag along. Once I've gathered everything I think I'll need, I realize I'm weighing myself down.

Some of us don't need to be traveling to have baggage. We gather up our hurt and pain and stuff it all into an emotional suitcase. We carry it along everywhere we go. Some things we carry as a reminder to never let those experiences happen again. Other things we carry because we don't know how to let them go. The bags get heavier over time and slow us down under their weight.

Determined not to take my largest suitcase, I begin the editing process. I make a pile of 'must haves' and a pile of the 'just in case'. The 'just in case' pile is much larger than I expected. In fact, in effort to prepare for just about any situation, I've managed to completely overwhelm myself with stuff. So I gather a few choice 'just in case' items and leave the rest behind—and take a smaller suitcase.

Anything that is not essential will only drag us down. Some life lessons teach right from wrong, good from evil and keep us from getting hurt. Other life lessons shame and condemn us, lock us in bondage and keep us from being happy. The good news is, we control the editing process. We get to choose what we'll carry around in an emotional suitcase and what we won't. With God's help and some serious soul searching, we may realize it's time to leave some stuff behind and finally carry a smaller suitcase.

Be blessed,

Jennifer


Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2


2 comments:

Jim said...

You might want to think Trafalgar Square instead of Notre Dame (which is in Paris), unless, of course, you will be including France in your journeys. Or maybe Westminster Abbey. :-) Personally, if I was in England I would make Roslyn Chapel a destination. That's the place from DaVinci Code and Templar legend. Since you're worried about baggage, just remember to leave Greg at home. LOL Enjoy your trip. Bring a coat. Be well.

Jennifer said...

Great tips, Jim. I will be taking a train to Paris so I definitely have Notre Dame on the 'to do' list. Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey are on the itinerary too, I believe but I didn't know about Roslyn Chapel.
And yes...I'll be leaving Greg at home. ;)

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