There we were a few days after Christmas, heading home with presents, 3 adults, 3 children in car seats and two dogs stuffed into a Mazda 5. You can't imagine how stuffed we all felt! We got to the grocery store to pick up some water and a few items that ended up on the passengers lap cause there was not space at the feet anymore. It was a tight fit and we were all happy when our 3 hours were over with.
When I got home from that trip I took out the clothes the children and I wore and decided to do laundry, I was as I always am on when we get back from vacation as to how little we actually use and wear compared to what I brought. But isn't that always the case? We don't know what to pack and so we end up with so much "just in case."
I am always challenged when I read the passages in the New Testament (like the Mark 6: 6b-) where Jesus tells his disciples to go and spread the word without anything! No extras, no bags just go as they are! Wow!
To think about setting up a trip today, without bringing any "STUFF", no money or food seems like an impossible task. Most of us would look at a person and call them crazy and certainly wouldn't take them seriously if they said they were doing this. Most importantly we would probably judge them by modern standards as someone taking advantage of the system. But that is actual "stuff" we need isn't it?
But no matter how hard it is for us to give up on bringing tons of physical stuff with us, think about the emotional and mental baggage we bring into our lives each day? We carry over everything from yesterday into today and tomorrow. We continue to enter relationships with the scars of the past and we fail to live like Jesus called us - to go out and to spread the Word. Jesus tells us that if someone doesn't accept or respond to just simply dust off our feet and move forward.
And YET instead, we people do us wrong we hold on to it. We continue to wish them harm and we fail to, as the popular saying says, "let go and let God." Yet that is what we are asked. Forgiveness isn't about forgetting but it IS about getting to a point when you no longer need revenge. When you can dust your feet of the event and move forward. When we can without baggage move forward into relationship with someone knew - be it any relationship: lustlove, friendship, work, relative...
Let us work on this tall order - to go out and not only spread God's message but to heal others along the way! To actually DO God's work in the world for that is what Jesus asked his disciples. And to do so without bags...without the emotional toll that not forgiving can bring you. To hold on to hurts and scars so tightly that we can't open up to continue to love and serve. This is our challenge!
Not to fit all our "stuff" into a bigger bag but to release the bags we carry. On a different trip, I took 2 kids and myself on a week vacation to GA from NY and we travel via train. I had to carry all our stuff and shuffle a 3 year old and just 1 year old through all of this...without all the extras this was easily done. Test yourself and see how much you can do with God when you leave the baggage behind.