Sunday, August 16, 2015

Are Your Bags Overweight

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 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 11:28-30

It’s getting close to my fall conference season, and that means airplane travel. I don’t mind flying, but I absolutely hate packing. You see, I’m a chronic overpacker.

A few years ago, one of my travels gave me  trouble. This particular trip was a bigger than usual challenge because I was going to be away for nine days.

I spent several days planning my wardrobe—packing and repacking—weighing and reweighing the suitcase. I was determined to come in under the fifty-pound maximum. Finally success! I even had two and a quarter pounds to spare. I was off, zipping through check-in with no problem, literally flying high.

I enjoyed my week and a half with other writers. It’s always fun to get away with people who truly understand the way your mind works. But in the midst of having fun, I didn’t pay attention to the extra stuff I was accumulating. At these conferences publishers and authors give away tons of books…literally. And I’m a writer—I can never turn down the temptation of a free book—especially from friends! I didn’t prioritize what I needed to carry home versus what I just wanted to carry home.

It turned out there was be a big difference and a high cost.

By the time I had to check back in for the return trip home, I knew I was in trouble. Sure enough, when the clerk at the counter weighed my bag it was four pounds overweight. For those of you who aren’t aware, airlines are serious about weight limits. The overage cost me a cool one hundred dollars extra to get home.

As I pondered what I could have done differently, I couldn’t help but draw the comparison of the spiritual weight I carry with me daily. The expectations I take up without reason, the stress and worry I add to my load, and of course the guilt. Some of the guilt comes from things I should or shouldn’t have done—true sin. But a lot of it comes from things I just believe I should carry—whether God agrees or not.
This extra load comes from not paying attention, from not prioritizing the experiences in my life. I’ve learned, through experience, this extra load can cost even more. It can lead to burn-out, exhaustion (physical and mental), and worst of all, depression. Whenever I see that I’m overloaded, I come back to these verses and hand over all the extra stuff to Jesus. I exchange what I thought I wanted for what He knows I need. And it’s ALWAYS more manageable load.


  1. Amen. Excess baggage is horrible especially when you have to pay for it. Thank you for sharing. My time in the Navy taught me to pack light. I now use just a carry on for 5 days or less. When it comes to emotional baggage, I do a spiritual inventory and prayerfully give each piece to God. At times I look for that luggage to comes back around on the conveyor belt. God reminds me that I am only getting myself dizzy...He has my baggage and won't give it back.

  2. Well said, Edie. Thanks for the great comparison.