THE BAGGAGE WE CARRY THROUGH LIFE

Eternal Perspectives      by Sally Bair

Baggage

We disembarked from the Amtrak car along with dozens of others who were as eager as we to enjoy Glacier National Park. While awaiting our luggage, the scene became chaotic. Stress showed on the faces of many and I felt it myself, amid the mass of suitcases, backpacks and totes. My daughter and I each had only two items to retrieve. Others, however, plucked piece after piece from the pile of items. Perhaps their stay would be much longer than ours. Or maybe they’d packed more clothing than we did, or cosmetics, and electronic gadgets to keep them occupied during rainy days.

The frantic activity made me think about the mental and emotional baggage we tend to carry around. I look through my closet and see too many jackets, too many blouses and sweatshirts and jeans and shoes and …. How many do I need? How many books do I need on my shelves? Will I even read them all? Has my overabundance of things morphed into the sin of idolatry?

The saying in Christian circles is that anything or anyone we value more than Christ has become an idol. Whether we admit it or not, surely most of us are guilty of thinking about or at least acting like “things” or people are more important than He is. Some like to leave church early so not to miss “the big game” on TV, rather than stay to pray for a friend who is hurting. Others may profess to reading God’s Word daily but would rather text a friend. Still others insist on creating a perfect house, a perfect meal or a perfect child, too busy to spend time alone with their Savior and Lord. I’m as guilty as anyone in my habit of placing Him behind my perceived needs.

Lately I’ve been asking myself, “What would I do today if I knew it was to be the last day of my life?” Perhaps we need to take stock of our personal, one-on-one relationship to our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Are we holding onto too much “baggage” that places Him second in our lives? Have we surrendered everything to Him, or do we keep placing our wants and desires ahead of His? How much in awe and fear are we of Him on this possible last day of our lives?

How devoted are we to His Word? Here’s a good quote I heard recently: “His Word will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from His Word.” Something to pray about.

Lord, thank You for providing us with enough. Cause us to worship You above all else, willing to rid ourselves of life’s unneeded baggage. In Jesus’ name, amen.