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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: light (05/24/04)

TITLE: Pack Lightly for Life
By Joanne Malley


Pack Lightly for Life
by Joanne Malley

On the day we were born, we arrived "lightly" in more ways than one. If you were like most babies, you weighed about seven or eight pounds; quite an easy bundle for your parents to carry around. I think the baby totes our moms carried weighed more than that!

As babies adorned with tiny noses and cute little toes, none of us had any idea what we were in for! If we knew then, what we know now, we just may have opted to stay a baby if we were able. We were fed, clothed, doted over, and made comfortable, and didn't have to worry about a thing! With adulthood being such a contrast, we can surely see how easy it could be to skip the adult way of life altogether! Thank goodness we didn't arrive with the weight of our future adult worries. Strollers would have been useless! Some of our parents may have needed a hitch on the back of the car to lug us around in a small U-Haul!

As we matured with each passing year and experienced life, not only did our body weight change, so did our life's baggage weight. As for me, I still have the ten pounds of body weight which remained after that wonderful body-changing experience called motherhood! Also, not so long ago, my life's baggage weight was sometimes a little more than I chose to keep lugging around. It was often difficult to shed the excess poundage gathered simply by living life.

From early on, I had the ability to gather and collect things for myself and place them into my bag. It must have become very special to me, because I carried it wherever I went. In the bag, I collected feelings of inadequacy and fear. I also found guilt and regret along life's path, and placed them in too. Countless other negative feelings made their way in and, after a while, I couldn't figure out which ones I was attached to the most. What or who made me think I needed to tote these things around for the better part of my life? I certainly don't recall my parents teaching me to do so. I guess I just learned to do it on my own. Perhaps, just like you?

I've come to realize I was no different than anyone else. We all tote around stuff that weighs us down. Why do we keep filling our bags with all that junk? I guess when we're feeling miserable and loaded with heavy burdens, that old saying of "misery loves company" rings to be true.

By constantly re-visiting what is in our bags, we must feel some level of comfort since that's what's familiar. When all those bad feelings surround you on an almost-daily basis they become part of who you are, but they also keep you from becoming who God wants you to be. Why weren't we smart enough to just dump that stuff in the trash bin? Those handy receptacles were always available to us. Perhaps, it's because deep down inside, we realized the trash wouldn't be collected until we gave it to God to cart away!

It's a difficult job shedding the pounds of inadequacy and fear. It's even tougher to get rid of guilt and regret. But, lately my baggage has been feeling much lighter! Could the clasp on my bag be broken? Are the items I've been keeping so long falling out as I travel through life? The truth is, they're not falling out at all. I'm slowly giving them to the One who wants to carry them. I'm now looking forward to the day when, not only will my bag be empty, but I will no longer need it.

Tomorrow morning when you arise, open the blinds and let the light in. Look closely in the mirror and imagine who you can be without the baggage. Then, you'll be able to clearly see the person that God sees.

If you're feeling overwhelmed by the weight of your bag, simply ask God to carry it. He'll be more than glad to do so. Despite how much it weighs, it's always light enough for Him. And, by the way, He'll be carrying mine on his other shoulder!

Member Comments
Member Date
Deborah Porter 06/01/04
Joanne, good message and well presented. You are also only the second writer so far to use this version of "light" as their theme. It makes a nice interlude between all the other bright light stories. ;-)

Look forward to reading more of your work in the future. With love, Deb
L.M. Lee06/02/04
nice analogy of handling your life.
Melanie Kerr 06/02/04
Yours is a different side of “light”. Does Jesus not say that his yoke is easy and his burden is light? We never stop carrying things, it is just that what we carry changes.
Dian Moore06/02/04
Your word picture of placing the burdens of life in a bag really got to me. Great job with this take on "Light". Keep it up.
I really enjoyed your story. I especially liked that you used the word in a different (light) than everyone else. very nice analogies also. good job.
Lynne Gaunt06/04/04
I really liked this article - so true, some people have really pretty designer bags, but they are bags just the same, aren't they?!
B Price06/04/04
using a different meaaning to light which is good.
Linda Miller06/06/04
Hi Joanne - Absolutely, wonderful message you brought us . . . so true about our baggage through life . . . thanks for making me check mine and hopefully unpack and throw!!!
Marcell Billinghurst06/07/04
An excellent article, Joanne. A good reminder of the need to cast every thing that weighs us down into the Lords hands. He longs to help us, but God cannot take our burdens until we let them go.