So in packing for four people for just eight days you might would think it's a simple task...no big deal. And truly...the actual packing of 8 outfits for 4 people is not really that heroic. The suitcases were pretty much 90% packed yesterday. Today's the day of odds and ends...shoes, toiletries and last minute freshly washed clothes will be thrown in right at the end.
But today is also the dreaded "carry on" packing. You know...that one small bag that is going to hold enough items for survival during your 4 hour flight. The "carry on" packing looks different for all four members of our family...
Bruce- computer, Bible, notepad, phone charger
Gina- books, lifesavers, magazines, Bible, phone charger, important information for the trip, makeup
Savannah- travel pillow, jacket, iPad, chargers, books, Bible, doodle pad, phase 10 cards, duct tape, earbuds
Tucker- travel pillow, iPad, headphones
It's tough deciding what you're going to include in your carry on. What is worth the cost your back will pay as you lug your backpack through the airport? What will you really need? What will you have time to do? Will you really use everything you've packed? Is it really a necessity?
I'm pretty sure I should ask those same questions regarding the spiritual and emotional baggage I carry in my life. What burdens are worth the cost of the pain it takes to bear them? What things do I really need in my life? What things do I have the time to do? Are these burdens necessary? Will I be able to use what I am carrying to bring glory to the Lord?
As I think about those questions myself, I know that I carry weight that is unnecessary sometimes. Sometimes I carry the weight of guilt, unforgiveness, inadequacy, pride. Those are carry ons I was never meant to bear. Instead...burdens like lost souls, the burdens of my family in Christ, a broken heart for those who have walked away from the Lord, the weight of the fruit of the spirit....These are the carry ons that I should be weighted down with. Those are the things that our Savior carried while He was on this earth...as our example...may our hearts break for what breaks His.
So many times I'm burdened with things I was never meant to carry. Maybe you find yourself in that situation. What can we do? I'm glad you asked....Here's what I am learning:
1. Empty your carry on. Lay out your burdens before the Lord. Ask Him to take the things that you have no business carrying. Leave those items with Him. You can't carry what you don't have. And ..don't be an Indian giver....you know...the kind of person that says you can have these...but then makes all these exceptions...if you take care of it properly, if you don't ever get rid of it, until I want it back...
2. Fill it up. After leaving your baggage with the Lord, fill your bag with things that bring joy to the heart of God...the fruits of the spirit are an excellent place to start. As a Christian love, joy, peace....should be overflows of what Christ has done in your life. Pack your carry on to the brim with those qualities and others that reflect the heart of God.
3. Get moving. Don't babysit your burdens....they don't need you. You left them with Jesus....and He's pretty much wiped them out...defeated them at the cross. If you keep coming back to check on them, you exceed the limit of your carry on. And there's a cost for that. Sometimes the cost is a lack of peace or joy....which are crowded out of your carry on because you've replaced them with fear or doubt or some other sin. When you get moving in the right direction with your carry-on filled with things that glorify the Lord, you can't help but walk confidently, strong in the power of the Lord.
So...happy traveling. May your load be lighter and your steps ordered by the Lord. After all He's the best pilot for the journey you're on.