I’ve done some traveling in 2012. One business trip consisted of a day of travel, a day of business, and a day of travel. For that trip, I brought a carry-on bag and a laptop. Walking through airports was a breeze, baggage claim was bypassed, and getting to and from my car did not involve looking for ramps and elevators while carrying a million pounds of clothes and shoes and beauty products on my back.
I took another, lengthier trip, which required a fully packed checked bag that weighed-in just beneath the limit, a carry-on bag and again, the laptop. It was clumsy getting around the airports hauling all my goods. It was tiring lugging my bags to my transportation to the hotel.
If I had a choice I would always travel light.
So why is it I am determined to overburden myself on the journey of life with lots of baggage?
Bertolt Brecht, a 20th Century playwright and theatre professional, once said, “The human race tends to remember the abuses to which it has been subjected rather than the endearments. What’s left of kisses? Wounds, however, leave scars.“
The memories we hungrily capture of love, kindness and beauty are often overshadowed by the experiences of hurt, rejection, and anger. In extreme cases, the hurt is so big that love only exists as a far-distant memory, unreachable in the here and now.
Today, December 31, you might be holding onto something from this past year, or even years ago, which overshadows love, kindness and beauty. Leave it behind in this 2012. Do not take a single step into the new year carrying something old and ugly. It’s better to walk forward into 2013 empty-handed than carrying an old filthy rag.
If you’ve been hurt, throw it away. Give it to God and remember what Jesus tells us in Matthew 11: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Christ will gladly carry your burden of hurt and you will find rest in God’s peace.
If you are angry, throw it away. James writes: “For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:20) In Ephesians 4, Paul writes about the renewing of our minds in Christ, and encourages us to “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” (Ephesians 4:31)
If you have resentment, throw it away. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) Write it down and carry it with you. Let it remind you that you are a child of God, a co-heir with Christ, and that love will overcome all things.
If you are carrying jealousy, throw it away. James writes, “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” (James 3:16-18)
If you are walking around with the heavy burden of fear, throw it away. Most Christians know the verse from 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” But there is a difference between knowing the scripture and living our lives according to it. Turn your fear over to God in 2013. I believe God so desires to demonstrate His great power, love and self-control in every believer’s life. How can He do this when we are afraid?
Whatever your baggage might be, leave it behind in 2012. Throw it in the garbage can and close the lid. Steadfastly refuse to reach in there and pull it back out. The baggage becomes filthier when it is intermingled with other filth. Do not think on your burdens and instead, remember what Paul writes in Philippians 4:8, “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Allow these things – truth, honor, justice, purity, love, commendableness, excellence, and praise-worthiness – fill your thoughts to the point that you are no longer holding onto your heavy baggage of hurt, resentment, anger, jealousy and fear.
For more instruction about “traveling light,” consult with the instruction manual of life, the Holy Bible. God’s Word is wisdom, and encouragement, and correction.
Flight 2013 is departing soon. Bringing all your baggage with you is going to cost you. Why don’t you just leave it behind?