The door flew open. Exasperated “Carrie” entered, “He won’t let me help him!” She talked about what he needed and could not see. She had to save him from himself. To save myself, I jumped up and grabbed her backpack. “Let my bag go”, she said. I said, “Let his baggage go, it’s not yours to carry. ”
What’s in your bag? We all have one. The difference between a bag and baggage is the weight of the load. A bag won’t slow you down. Baggage will. We are all taking a trip down life’s path. We all have potential. Yet, many struggle down the path of potential under the heaviness of emotional or circumstantial baggage tightly packed with self-inflicted labels, other people’s opinions, outdated situations, fraudulent relationships, uncertainty, dis-ease, world traumas and personal tragedies. Some are even weighted down with their purpose. As they enter the New Year, will they begin fully loaded or loaded down? We must learn to pack light in order to travel well. God’s Word provides light to our path.
Come unto Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. As a people of purpose, we are “visioneers” living life by divine design, not default. Come on open your bag. What’s in there? A person, place or thing that you have outgrown or that has outgrown you, but you don’t want to let go? Come unto me. . . Are you being offered a suitcase of labels that don’t fit the person God created you to be? Come unto me. . . Maybe that satchel of opinions you have of yourself is so full of holes your self esteem keeps leaking out . . . Come unto me. . . Maybe like Carrie, lugging other people’s baggage is your specialty except they can’t see the need to come to Him because they are coming to you – and admit it you’re tired. Come . . .
Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. God promises rest. Rest does not come to mind when I think of many purpose driven people - myself included. I think of goals of grandeur and radical resolution lists designed to expand my territory to achieve bigger and better things than ever before . . . I can almost hear the crowds roar…I also feel tension creeping up the back of my neck from the anxiety created from a list of things to do FOR God. He designed my purpose to spend more time WITH Him. I react by doing more FOR Him. This is a “busy” yoke, not His easy one.
His bags are not our bags. Jesus demonstrates this by inviting us to come to Him, by giving us rest while we take His yoke. He carries the weight of our weaknesses while teaching us His gentle ways and allowing us to help carry His burdens - not our Purposes but His burdens.
This year, I will try it His way: come, take, learn and receive. . .
1. Come unto me . . . is the Lord’s intimate invitation in unloading, packing and carrying bags. In His presence and in worship resolutions can be created.
2. Take presumptions out of my bag to go forward. Going through airport security, I was asked – okay commanded - to take off my shoes. This reminded me of Moses taking his shoes off before entering Holy ground. To get God’s perspective rather than my own, I need to pray out my presumptions and listen for His intentions, on His ground.
3. Learn Him. Resolutions based on the successes or testimonies of others put weight on. While it looks good on them, it doesn’t necessarily fit in my bag. Christ is the standard to study.
4. Receive in His presence, resolutions that will not be a self-improvement list of goals that are all about me. Rather they will reach beyond self, be centered on Him, and benefit others.
My yoke is easy and my burden is light. The only bags I intend to pick up at baggage claim this year are easy and light allowing me to travel into the New Year as a living expression of God’s love. Will you join me?
Sonya Denyse is a steward of Dream Development Foundation, helping individuals & ministries to put dreams into action. The company serves an eclectic array of clients who progress from confusion to clarity as their dreams advance from concept to completion. http://www.DreamDevelopmentFoundation.com.