My husband and I are very different travellers. While I prefer travelling with all my earthly belongings packed in a suitcase, he would much rather travel 'bindaas' with a half empty backpack. Initially he used to laugh at my packing style. But now that we've had children, we've added a couple of extra suitcases, backpacks, diaper bags and a stroller to our little troop of travellers. He is insanely irritated with all the excess baggage that I pack for every trip. It's quite a nightmare while I try to navigate through airport security with my three kids and excess baggage. While half the time I look like a bulldozer moving through traffic, the other half of the time I look like Santa Claus with a sack of clutter. Oh and our road trips are a whole different story with our car boot packed to capacity and our laps overflowing with books, snacks, pillows and trash. My excuse has always been, "Oh I definitely need those ten extra diapers and those million clothes for an 'emergency'”.
More recently, I have realised that I not only pack for trips this way, but I generally waltz through life carrying a lot of excess baggage. Many years ago, my father gave me a book to read. It was called Travelling Light: Releasing the Burdens You Were Never Intended to Bear by Max Lucado. At that time, I was struggling with a heavy load called bitterness.I remembered that the book had helped me greatly. So when the topic for this month was announced as journey, I knew that I wanted to take a look at that book again.
We all lug loads we were never intended to carry. Fear, worry, discontent, shame, self-reliance, arrogance, loneliness, disappointment - the list seems endless. No wonder we get so weary. We're worn out from carrying that excess baggage. Wouldn't it be great if we could let go of some of that load? And that's exactly what Max Lucado talks about in his book Travelling Light: Releasing the Burdens You Were Never Intended to Bear. He goes through Psalm 23 verse by verse giving us an inventory of the luggage we carry and the antidote to it. If you do get a chance to read it, please do.
Often times in our everyday life we tend to forget Jesus' invitation to take up the lighter, easier load.
Matthew 11:28-30 says "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
I have read this verse multiple times, I have also heard sermons preached on this verse, yet the enormity of the verse failed to capture my attention.Here is a God, an all powerful magnificent God, the creator of the universe,the God who holds the cosmos in place inviting me to take the easier option but I stubbornly choose to carry all that excess baggage, reeling from the weight of it until I literally keel over. While all along the gentle Saviour reminds me in I Peter 5:7 to, "Cast all my cares on Him for he cares for me." He is willing. He is able and he has already done it!
The last few days as I have been thinking and writing about this, I have been mentally handing over to the Lord that excess load that I tend to pile on. Because unknowingly it tends to seep into my marriage and my relationship with my children, into the church and the people I work with; stealing my joy, robbing my peace and weighing me down so much that I can't bear to take another step. And that is a load I definitely don't want to be carrying for the rest of my life.
Maybe in your journey you have picked up a few loads unintentionally. Maybe you are at a point in your journey where the load has become too cumbersome to bear. May I gently remind you of Jesus' invitation to exchange your load for his rest.
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