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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Luggage (08/15/05)

TITLE: What will you take?
By Karen Ward


"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 11:29-31 (New International Version)

The interesting thing about luggage is that you donít have it all with you at the same time. You only take as much as you think you need.

Some people are better than others at estimating what they will need. I once went on a week long trip with a male friend. We went by plane to our destination. I took my big blue suitcase with several outfits for casual wear, a few choices of shoes, and one or two special outfits for our evenings out. I also had a plethora of books, a notepad and pens. Just the essentials as far as I was concerned.

He took a carry on back pack with a spare jumper and an extra pair of undies! At least he packed his toothbrush.

I like to think Iíve become a little better at estimating what I need to take with me over the years. While I will probably never pack as light as my friend, I have slowly realized that I may not need a choice of books when I get there, and really, the likelihood of my falling in the 4th mud puddle and needing that last pair of trousers before I can get to a washing machine is perhaps less than I thought at first.

Spiritually, Iím sure I still have a lot to learn Ė but Iím trying to pack lighter these days.

When I used to go and visit my Mum, I would take all my memories. The happy ones and the sad ones. I would also pack all my grudges, niggles, and especially the buttons that I take with me for her to push.

Now I just take the buttons!

Well, OK, maybe the point is that Iím even trying to leave the buttons at home.

Some of this spiritual luggage is hard to leave behind. Sometimes, I lay these things at Jesusí feet before I go, and then, when I awaken on my first morning and my mother comments on how much Iíve eaten for breakfast, bam! It seems the button has just followed me on its own!

Often I have to repack my spiritual backpack many times on the journey.

Owning the items is not the problem, itís just what you decide to take, and where you take it. Those of us who have battled with things like unforgiveness know that sometimes you need to take that luggage with you to a place you can sort it out.

As long as itís the right place.

Take it to a safe place, sort it out, and give it back to Jesus so that he can look after it until you need to deal with it again.

I know our sins are cast from us as far as the east is from the west, but sometimes, I find myself in the west again, and the only way to get home is to look for the sin so that you can give it back. But donít take the unforgiveness where it shouldnít go. Leave it behind and pack the forgiveness instead.

Or change the trip so that you can unpack it in the right place and leave it there before you move on.

Luggage always signifies a trip of some kind. A holiday, a business trip Ė even moving house. Itís what you take thatís important. Why else the saying about the kitchen sink?

Take what is appropriate to the journey.

We are always on a journey with Christ, and itís very useful to have someone to carry the bags that you canít handle on your own.

Donít refuse His help.

If you find your baggage is too big or too heavy or thereís just too many bags, let him carry some for you.

Heís there waiting.

He can help us, His load is easy, He tells us that himself. ďmy yoke is easy and my burden is lightĒ

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Member Comments
Member Date
Theresa Kissinger08/27/05
I appreciated your candor. This had some good elements and pulled together could make a good entry. The paragraph about your 'male friend' followed by the introduction of your Mum needed a smoother transition. I loved the 'grudges, niggles and buttons', but what is a 'niggle'. This was fun and I can tell you have a sense of humor, you might consider developing. I did get confused when it seems you were the one thrown to the west...when the Lord throws out the garbage {sins}, he never discards us with it. You don't have to work your way back. The last few lines to me depicted a Jesus kind of bell boy waiting to carry our bags. Mt. 11:30 is more about us conjoined with Christ, that we take His lighter burden learning as we do to be more like Him. I believe you have potential and I hope you don't mind if I mettle in your gift. Keep writing.
Shari Armstrong 08/29/05
Some really nice ideas here :) A good lesson -especially about the buttons that family knows how to push better than anyone else!
Julianne Jones09/01/05
"When I used to go and visit my Mum, I would take all my memories. The happy ones and the sad ones. I would also pack all my grudges, niggles, and especially the buttons that I take with me for her to push." Ouch! The whole piece was very insightful. You mangaged to get your point across in a fun and light way which is great and more likely to be heeded by the reader. Some really great thougts. I enjoyed it.