How many of you were ever in the Boy Scouts? Or maybe you had kids in the Boy Scouts? If so, then you ought to be able to tell me what the Boy Scout motto is? Two words .. BE PREPARED.
I confess I was a boy scout. And because of that excellent training, I have trouble packing light. Whenever I go on a trip or a vacation, I always take too much stuff. You just never know what you might need.
And for me it’s not the clothes. One or two outfits, some clean underwear and I’m good to go. My problem is all the other stuff.
First, there is the shoe problem. I always take my running shoes, in case I decide to go running. (Not to mention my running shorts, a T-shirt, a hat, my stop watch, my water bottle. If it’s cold maybe tights and running gloves). Then we might go out somewhere nice for dinner so I want my dress shoes. If we spend 4 hours at outlet mall I might need some walking shoes (by the way, I can’t use my running shoes for walking they are only for running). Then of course, flip flops for the shower.
Then, there is the problem of books. I never go anywhere without a book. Now one book wouldn’t be such a problem but I always think, well maybe I want to work on a new sermon series so I better take along a commentary, two Max Lucado’s and my Bible. Even when I try to cut down, I end up with a briefcase full.
Then I need my calendar in case I want to do some planning. If I’m going to the beach you need an inflatable raft to float around in the surf with. You need three kinds of sunscreen and aloe vera for when you get burned. You need a beach hat. It’s never ending.
You should have seen us on our last vacation.
Since you now have to pay for checked luggage we decided to just check one bag between the two of us. We had it stuffed to the gills. In fact, we were about a pound over the 50-pound limit, but the nice lady at the counter let it slide.
The clerk on the return trip wasn’t quite so nice. She slapped a big orange HEAVY sticker on it and gave us a lecture.
In addition to our large checked bag we had two large carry-ons. Mine weighed a good 35 pounds because of the books in it. Now I know, the more stuff you take the more you have to lug through airports and carry into hotels.
If I’d known how small that rental car was going to be, I might have tried to pack a little lighter, but old habits are hard to break.
The same thing is true spiritually. Life would be so much more enjoyable. The trip wouldn’t be nearly so difficult, if we would just leave some of that stuff behind. If we would just get rid of some of that excess baggage, we wouldn’t be nearly as tired at the end of the day.
Now you say, PASTOR, WHAT KIND OF STUFF ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? WHAT ARE SOME OF THOSE THINGS IN THOSE OVERSTUFFED SUITCASES WE’RE LUGGING AROUND? Maybe things like discontent, and fear and envy. Burdens like disappointment, doubt and guilt.
Listen to the words of Jesus from Matthew 11:28 from the New Living Translation, “Come to me all of you who are weary and carry have burdens, and I will give you rest.”
The fact is, God never intended for us to carry some of that stuff around.
Jesus invites us to “go light” and trust more in Him. A tough lesson for us “boy scout” types, but a needed corrective.
Have a great week!
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