My first big trip took place the week of my 18th birthday. I was part of a small group that toured Jordan and Israel. Until then, I had never ventured far from the East Coast.
I planned everything I would take on my big excursion out of the country. I made a list of what I would wear each day of the trip: shirt, pants, sweater or jacket, underwear, socks, and shoes. It was all preplanned.
At some point later in life, I stopped planning. When I travelled, nearly everything in the closet ended up in my suitcases, “just in case.” But, the extra load caused me to move slower, it was difficult to carry, and made the trips less enjoyable.
It’s a life lesson for us, I think. Along the way, we’ve accummulated a lot of extra stuff. We’re weighed down with worry or cares of life that weren’t meant for our journey. We’ve accepted responsibilites that should have been handed to someone else. We’ve taken up a secondhand offense that became our own. We’ve been weighed down by helping family and friends when they refused to help themselves. Now, we’re stuck wondering how to let go and move forward.
If you haven’t noticed, no one is coming to your rescue. It seems the people around are so self-focused that they can’t even see your need for help. So what do you do?
I have a suggestion. YOU make a decision. You can choose to live differently. You can refuse to accept responsibility for someone else’s mess. You can free yourself from relationships that are dragging you down. One by one, you can see the entanglements for what they are, roadblocks. You will never reach your destination if you continue to carry baggage that isn’t yours.
Paul wrote in Hebrews 12:1 “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.”
Throw. It. Off. That’s your job. Whether or not it’s a sin, if it’s holding you back, get rid of it. Whether or not it’s “good,” if it’s holding you back, get rid of it. Whether or not it’s fun, if it’s holding you back, get rid of it.
Examine everything. Ask yourself, “Is this moving me forward or holding me back?” If it’s holding you back, get rid of it.
At this point in my old age, I’m at some happy middle ground. When getting ready for a trip, I don’t overplan, but I also don’t overpack. I want to travel with only one bag, if possible. It makes the trip easier for me.
There’s something to be said for throwing off extra baggage.