I used to travel a lot for pleasure. There was always some place on the globe that I wanted to visit or an experience I wanted to share with family and friends. When it was time to pack, I always left with more than I came with — souvenirs, unique pieces, and gifts. It wasn’t an issue years ago. At least I don’t remember having to pay extra for a heavy bag. These days, there’s a fee you must pay the airlines for heavy bags, but that hasn’t deterred me from doing a little shopping before leaving.
Something I do (that no one else probably does) is leave my bags packed for a while. I usually take out the essential things that I’ll need, but I often times leave everything else in my bag until I make time to unpack and put everything in its proper place. When I finally do unpack, I find things that I’d forgotten about — a favorite pair of jeans, earrings, and gifts I intended to give away long ago.
Life is very similar to these packed bags. We carry so much with us already — job woes, financial obligations, religious commitments, kids’ schedules, and relationship issues. Even if the weight of these “bags” is manageable, we add more — hoping to keep everything together without leaving anything behind. We become so comfortable being encumbered that we forget what it’s like to be free.
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 11:28-30
At some point, you should just sit, breathe, and begin to unpack. You’ve been carrying so many things with you that are no longer relevant — things that mattered then but don’t matter now. Why do we hold on to failed relationships, hurtful conversations, and forgiveness? Unpack the guilt, the shame, and the worries. Imagine your bags getting lighter. Ridicule, missed opportunities, and broken promises are still in those bags! Take them out and throw them away. Don’t recycle or repurpose them; you don’t need this stuff anymore. Imagine being able to stand upright instead of being weighed down. Your quality of life will improve when you begin to unpack. Carefully tucked away between your guilt and your worries is joy. Until you make time to unpack your bags, you won’t find your joy.
What are you holding onto that is no longer relevant? Today is the day to make a fresh start. Remember that nothing changes if nothing changes. You deserve to be free! May blessings abound! <3