Is it always good to carry more than you need? It is true that you never know what you will encounter. You never know when there will be additional needs that arise. Maybe you follow the Boy Scout motto of being prepared. You want to always make sure you are ready. But do you really need to carry more than you need? Do we really need excess to carry along with us?
Here’s a challenge for you – go to your bag you carry the most and pour everything out. I know…heart palpitations already. But pour it out anyway. How much of what you see is extra – the ‘just in case’ gear? My briefcase is full of unnecessary stuff. I am still carrying around the draft of my doctoral thesis (I spent so many years with it, I feel like I will have separation anxiety without it). There are all kinds of stuff I don’t need on a daily basis. But here I am, carrying the extra load.
For me, my briefcase mirrors too much of my life. I have the essentials and I will be okay. I lack for nothing. But I have this extra load I carry every day. I am not required to, I just do. There are things I need to let go of. There are things I need to discard completely and forget. There are items that need my attention I have buried in the bottom so I don’t have to think about them. There are a few things that bring me joy, but not enough. It looks like all business, really. So my load is heavy with things I wasn’t meant to carry all the time. There are things I should have taken care of a long time ago. There are items that I can pick up later when needed but are just taking up space for now – valuable space I could use for the things which bring me joy.
So today, I begin a little clean up. It is time for some simply ‘life keeping’. I need to look at the things which I carry and clean out the unnecessary. I need to get rid of the excess load so I can freely live and breathe and serve. I need to fill my bag only with the absolutely necessary so I can welcome in the joys that come my way. I need to have room in my bag – not so I have room for more stuff – but so I can move about freely and enjoy the journey.
Might you do the same today? It may physically begin with your bag, but may it spill over and free up your life – to really live.
28 “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 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.
Photos included in Devotions are captured by David Cain – The Cain Gallery. Photos are available for sale by contacting The Cain Gallery