Don’t panic! This is not a reflection on dietary demands and reducing your BMI!!!
I was reading the Bible the other day, and I read something that really spoke to me. Jesus is preparing His disciples to go out into the big-wide world to share His gospel message. He gives them some advice and it was that advice that really challenged me. In Matthew 10 verse 10 I read these words;
You don’t need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light. (Matthew 10 vs. 10 – The Message)
I am not good at packing. Just recently, I went on retreat for a couple of days and I was determined to make a better job of it than usual. I decided before hand just what I would need. What was essential, what would be handy and what was not required.
I began well. I sorted the absolutely essential and put it in my case. Then, some sort of panic set in! I started to put into my case everything that I could think of, and then I demanded a bigger case!!!!
My wife tried to ease my worries by reminding me that it was ONLY two nights away. She was sure that if I had discovered that I needed a mosquito net in Chelmsford, the retreat centre would have one (okay, I made that bit up) But, by the end of my packing I had the distinct impression that, if I could have got the kitchen sink in, I would have done!
When I arrived at the centre, I struggled to carry my bags (yes I had packed so much, I needed two cases!) up to my room. Over the course of my two nights I discovered that the majority of what I had packed was not needed!
Next time, I promised myself, I will travel light!
(not quite an accurate illustration but, you get the point)
It made me think. Do we always travel light in life or, are we in danger of carrying a bit of excess baggage with us?
It occurred to me that, as Jesus prepared His disciples to go out into the world, He would be fully aware that they would not always be welcome. They would face hardships, persecution, misunderstandings, challenges and criticism. If they held onto these things, they were in danger of carrying excess baggage.
What do we do with the hurts we carry, the mistakes we make, the times we deliberately mess up, the anger that builds up? It sometimes feels as though we pack them away tight in the suitcase of life.
Dare I say it? Some of us have been lugging around excess baggage for years! We need to hear those words of Jesus
Then it struck me, this is not a command, it is an invitation. Jesus invites His disciples to travel light just as He gives us the invitation to travel light.
“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.”
(Matthew 11 vs. 28 – 30)
We can come to Him and give Him our excess baggage, we don’t have to carry it anymore.