I wish someone could shoot a video of me packing my suitcase for my Christmas trip home, especially when it gets to crunch time. See me weighing myself, then hopping on the scale and trying to lift each suitcase. Then the cries of despair when I realize I have to rearrange items so that neither suitcase is over 50 pounds. This dramedy has become an annual event. My back, however, is not amused by these shenanigans. It has been not-so-gently telling me that I am packing way. too. much. stuff.
I’ve shared before the angst and challenges of traveling home. Multiply them to the nth power when I head south to St. Kitts at Christmas. I become close friends with “Justin Case,” packing more than I might possibly use … just in case.
Taking a break from the weigh-ins, I decided to read the Word and relax in God’s presence for a while. In The Message version, I got to Mark 10:22, where Jesus and the rich young ruler meet. I had to pause at Mark’s description of the ruler’s disappointment at Jesus’s command to give up everything:
“He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.”
Jesus was offering the rich young ruler eternal life. The guy was too attached to his earthly goods to recognize and accept the freedom and immense gift Jesus was offering him.
The truth of that assessment, applied to my current situation, slapped me solidly in the face. I was unwilling to relinquish the false safety and control that come with carrying everything I thought I might need. Even when it meant carrying overweight baggage and paying a penalty for it.
How often my thoughts, attitudes, perceptions, words, and actions belie how velcroed I am to my possessions! What am I missing out on when my focus is on holding on for dear life to the items God has been good enough to place temporarily in my hand? And how is that keeping me from fully enjoying kingdom living?
What are you holding on to that probably could be relinquished?