Travel Lightly

In just 11 days I will be embarking on a trip to North Carolina to attend a 3 day writer’s conference. I have so much left to do to prepare. I will be meeting with two book publishers and attending a writer’s peer critique group.

To meet with these publishers and attend this critique group, I have very specific instructions on what to bring. I can’t miss a single detail. But if that isn’t stressful enough, there is the whole packing thing. I think other females will understand better why this can be such an issue.

Not only do you have to pick out the right outfit for each day but you have to make sure your shoes match, you bring the right jewelry, your makeup fits in with the colors of your outfit…it can become quite a stressor.

I will also have limited time once I get to the airport, find the shuttle I need to take, take the shuttle to the hotel, check in, register and then be in my seat by 3:50 p.m. for the main opening session. So I have decided to travel lightly. I am going to avoid the baggage area completely by bringing a small enough suitcase that can go on board, yet fit everything I need.

I’m sure by now you are wondering, “What’s the point?” Why am I telling you all of this? Because as I was thinking about how much easier it will be to travel lightly, I couldn’t help but think how that is so true in other ways.

Think about your life. Would you rather your life feel heavy and weighed down? Do you like carrying burdens? No, most of us would probably say that we would rather travel through life lightly.

Yet so many of us lug around baggage of regret, guilt, shame, fear…oh, the list could go on and on. What is really sad is that many people could lighten their loads but despite how awkward and uncomfortable the load is, they are just so used to it that they keep trudging on.

I have a pretty checkered past. Was never raised in a Christian home and in fact, didn’t become one until I was married and had my first child. Becoming a believer didn’t completely lighten my load. I was carrying around a lot of stuff…junk from the past, pain, hurts, wrong beliefs, misconceptions…it was as if my heart and mind had been filled with so much wrong stuff, that it has taken years and years to see those burdens be lifted.

But even after serving the Lord for about 16 years now, I know there is still some luggage that needs to go. Just as I don’t want to go to the baggage area at the airport in Charlotte, to have to get a big heavy suitcase and lug that thing around…I don’t want to lug around anything in my life that doesn’t need to be there.

While God has done some amazing work in my heart, mind and life in general…there is still work to be done. But what I have come to see is that even though the weight has been lightened greatly over the past several years of serving God, I have become comfortable with some extra weight that isn’t necessary. It is time to travel lightly.

For me it means joining a new 19 week program that my church is offering that starts at the end of this month. I wrestled with God about this. I had all kinds of excuses and reasons to not do it. But that is when I came to realize that I was comfortable carrying that extra baggage. It would now be my choice…would I continue to or would I decide that I am going to travel lightly instead.

Whatever baggage you are carrying around, it really is a choice. God wants to take it from us. It’s just a matter of how and when. But we have to be ready and willing…His ways are not always our ways. I would much rather not attend this 19 week program to lighten my load but this is what God has chosen for me.

I can tell Him to forget it, I’ll just go back to the baggage area and pick up my big, heavy suitcase filled with…well, that’s between me and God. OR I can skip the baggage area and decide that I will do whatever it takes to travel lightly.

Think about what you need to do in order to travel lightly. Are you ready to shed the excess baggage? Ask God to show you how and when…but then be ready to do your part, no matter how difficult or painful.

(Photo above by brokenarts in Stock.xchng)

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