I have a tendency to take too much when I travel! I open up my suitcase and end up only using half of the clothes I packed. This idea of ‘taking less’ on my next trip has inspired me to save a few bucks!
My family is planning a trip to BC in the Spring and we’ve opted for a discount airline. We’re happy about the reduced fare, but we’re warming up to the idea of each of us having one less bag to take with us on our trip!
Packing in smaller bags that fit under the seat in front of you or in the overhead compartment takes intentionality. This is a challenge, but if we get it right; it can positively impact the trip … if we get it wrong; it can also negatively impact our time away. We want to get this one right!
As we step into a new year, we will want to be intentional about what we take with us! Taking too much can weigh us down and cost us. Not taking the right things can also leave us under-prepared for what’s ahead.
John Ortberg said; “One of the biggest challenges in the spiritual life is to know what to remember and what to forget” … in other words - what to pack and what to leave behind. Some things should be remembered, and some things should be forgotten – but it’s not always easy to know the difference.
In the year ahead, we need to take with us the lessons learned from personal failure and disappointment; but leave the guilt and shame behind. We need to pack up the experiences that have demonstrated the faithfulness, and goodness of God and set aside the hurts and wounds caused by others. Bitterness and resentment are future killers! They are far too heavy for any of us to carry. The remedy for both of these heavy-weights is forgiveness.
We forgive when we declare that the person who wronged us no longer owes us! When we cancel their debt! When we resign from retribution. Taking unforgiveness with us into 2019 just makes our load heavier than it needs to be.
The Apostle Paul wrote; “Each one should carry his own load”(Galatians 6:5). This is about personal responsibility. He wrote one breath earlier; “Carry each other’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ”(Galatians 6:2). This is about compassion. Paul is teaching personal responsibility and compassion for others.
Pack smart for the year ahead! It’s unwise to take unnecessary things. Only pack and take that which will be helpful for you and others. And, along the way, when the load gets heavy, let’s be willing to offer and ask for help from our travel companions – after all, we’re on this journey together!
Written by: Pastor Dave Larmour