Baggage Weighing You Down?

9:38 AMHeather

My grandmother was a flight attendant for American Airlines, way back in the early 1950's.  A commemorative book from the airlines sits on her coffee table, proudly testifying to one of the happiest and most exciting times of her life.  She pushed her way into the job, boldly pursuing a career for which she was both too young and not quite qualified. But, she knew she wanted to see the world.  She knew she wanted to meet new people and be part of the glamor of it all. I have no doubt the airline benefited greatly by taking a chance on her.  

These days, air travel is not the glamorous and fun adventures it used to be.  Oh, there are adventures alright.  Delayed flights, long security lines, strict regulations, and "food for purchase."  Which basically can be translated to overpriced snack items designed to keep you from being too hangry.  

We had an unusually busy summer this year when it came to travel.  This meant constantly packing and repacking and thinking and rethinking how many suitcases for our family of five.  We need to bring all that we might need, but in as few bags as possible in order to avoid checked bag fees.  BUT, if our carry-on bags are too big, then I wouldn't be able to lift them.  As I flew twice with my kids and not my strong husband, I had to consider being self-reliant.

Add all this to my growing list of first world problems.  Because the truth is that most of what irritates me is actually nothing but the problems associated with living in a land of plenty.

Checked bags versus carry on.  There's no feeling quite like when you dump off all your checked bags, pay your extra $7,998 dollars to the airline, and then can walk through security with only your small carry on.  You feel lighter and things go more smoothly.  

But then again, carrying on means avoiding those fees and the long wait at the baggage claim, not to mention the risk of lost bags.

What to do?  What to do?  My current approach is to look to Pinterest for ideas on packing for a year in one small carry-on bag and then debate greatly the merits of carry-on versus checked bags.

Just recently, I realized this is my approach to life in general.  I've spent years debating whether to check my baggage and be done with it, entrusting it to the capable hands of the experts. Willing to pay the price of letting it go. OR, attempt to carry it on for the sake of convenience, despite that fact that I might have to rely on someone else to help me hoist it up to the overhead storage compartment.  

There I am.  Boarding the plane of relationship with Jesus.  You know--trusting God Almighty.  And I am in a tug of war with him about my baggage.  I know he says he can take care of it.  If I'd only let him check my baggage.  He'd actually take care of it for good.  He even covered all of the fees.  In fact, Christ paid for it all so that I could chuck my baggage completely--once and for all.  

But, instead of just going with this option--this little leap of faith--I debate and obsess about what to pack up and what might be left behind.  

Past wounds?  Oh, I should totally check those.  What's done is done.  God covered my mistakes and offenses.  If I believe his grace is real, then I'm called to extend it, as well.  

OH, but wait.  That personal offense is ongoing and no apology has been offered or will probably be offered?  Maybe I should just find room in my carry-on and lug it with me.  You never know, after all, when I might bump into that person again with that same old issue and then I might need to fall back on my list of grievances.

Striving for the approval of others?  Again.  Awfully weighty.  Would actually take up most of my carry-on.  And it's so darn heavy.  Would be good to check it.  But, what if I need that during the flight to feel good about myself?  You know, what if there's a chance on the flight that I have an instant of feeling accepted by others.  That might be useful.  Even though the Word clearly says that I'm already accepted and approved by the King of Kings.  Can I trust that little "lightweight" assurance?

Doubts.  Hmmm... now that is sorta like trying to cram those adorable but heavy dress boots into a carry-on.  You know--the ones that go with that bulky sweater.  They take up so much space. But yet, when I put them on, they feel comfortable.  Familiar.  I'm used to wearing them, after all.  I know belief is so much lighter, but it's still just so new and not yet broken in.  I'm not so sure? 

Oh, and then there's the distractions of social media and entertainment.  Sure, they take up a lot of space, but at the heart of it all, they aren't too heavy.  I mean, there's nothing but fluff there.  Isn't it all about my ease and comfort and enjoyment?  Why bother doing the harder thing and checking those away?  I know if I checked those -- or didn't even pack them -- I'd have so much more space in life.  But, then, how do you fill the void?  Being still and resting?  Praying or reading a book?  Or THE book?  I don't know.  That might be boring.  Or hard.  Sure, I might gain much from it.  But, I'm rather attached to my distractions.  

These mental gymnastics and rechecking priorities and considering the cost of all and the benefit, too.  Oh, yes.  I can obsess about it for hours.  I know the journey should be light and easy.  I know that I will feel so much freer along the way if I'm not lugging around a huge load.  

But, at the end of the day, I have to admit that I'm just a bit leery.  Can I really trust the One in charge of baggage?  Can I really trust him to take care of things and meet all my needs?  Can he fill all the gaps if I let my baggage go?  Can I trust him to take my burdens and help me live freely and lightly?  

It all boils down to this.  How much do I want the freedom?  Do I want it enough to do the hard thing?  And put space between me and my baggage?  Letting it go with a huge leap of faith.  And seeing where my journey takes me.  

Oh, that I might!  That I might remove the things that keep me from noticing and appreciating fellow passengers.  That keep me from feeling grateful to those who serve me daily.  That I might trust the Pilot to take the controls and release me from all the baggage.  Because I have chosen to trust that He knows the destination and has all that I might need. 

Baggage.  I'm currently learning to check it.  And not worry about ever seeing it again. Because the freedom is worth the choice to release it.

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