Excuse me sir, you are going to have to check that bag”. “Ma’am, this bag will not fit in the overhead compartment, if it does not fit in under the seat in the front of you, you will have to check it. I am sorry”.
Going back and forth from LA to DC and all the airports in between, I’ve heard this on several occasions. I can recall the look of disappointment on the passengers faces when the flight attendant told them that their baggage could not fit on the air plane and had to be checked. Carry-on baggage is limited due to the stowage capacity on the plane. Well why does it matter? Too much weight on an air plane or even a care can cause the travel to be sluggish and can possibly become the cause of longer travel duration.
One day I had what I like to call “readers block”. I wanted to get in to the word of the Lord but I just didn’t know where to start. I perused through Proverbs and I knew that’s not where I was supposed to be at that moment. I skimmed through Psalms and knew that that was not where I was supposed to be at that moment. I opened up Luke 18 and I began to read. I approached the account of the Rich Ruler. One I was very familiar with; I had heard it in several sermons and messages.
The rich ruler was in the presence of Jesus Christ, went to him and asked what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus then reminded him of the commandments “‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother”. The Rich ruler confirmed that he had kept those commandments, “Oh yeah I got this”. Jesus said “Oh wait, you are lacking one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” I could just imagine the look on the rich ruler’s face. He probably was thinking, “WHAT! Sell all that I have? I have worked too hard to just give this stuff away, it’s precious and valuable.” The Bible says he became very sad. This man was rich. In response to the ruler’s sadness Jesus posed a question, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who have it all to enter God’s kingdom… it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle”
Let me be honest, when I first read this I was really just skimming so I kept reading. But when I looked back over it, I promise it was like the words popped right off my Bible and spoke… YOU CAN NOT TAKE IT ALL TO HEAVEN… huh?? What do you mean Lord? In this instance Jesus was speaking of material things, houses, property, jewels; tangible things. But I would stretch and go a little deeper and say that He may have even meant your “baggage”.
Yes we all have baggage; rather it may be hang ups, let downs, broken hearts, insecurities, disappointments, BAD HABITS. We all have them. What I have been learning though, is that we can not enter the kingdom of God with all this baggage. It is not possible for the two to coexist. Jesus instructed the rich ruler to sell all his possessions to get rid of all the baggage that might weigh him down upon entering the kingdom of God. I encourage you to do the same thing. Dig deeper than the tangible things. Colossians 3:5-8 tells us to “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” This may be things you are carrying around consciously or subconsciously. Check those bags. You can’t get to the kingdom with those.
Ok so you don’t gossip, or use filthy language, or don’t partake in sexual immorality, but you have yet to heal from that broken heart that so-n-so played a part in years ago, or you are too caught up in what others think about you because of some insecurity that you have had ever since your father told you that you were never going to be anything in life….BAGGAGE, check it! Do whatever it is you have to do to heal from that heartbreak, get over it and move forward. If not it’s going to weigh you down. You can’t there as fast as you are supposed to because the weight is making you sluggish!
Oh I am speaking to myself too. I found myself focusing on the why’s and the why nots, the how comes and the what ifs. I got caught up in the heart breaks and the unforgiveness and it was weighing me down. Eventually I looked up and saw that I still had not made it to my destination. Why not? Too much weight. I didn’t check my bags. Even today I had to check some bags. It’s hard because some of it I want to hold on to, but I have to remember my final destination. I don’t want my flight to be delayed and I do not want an extended lay over, so I have to check my bags.
Matthew 7:13-14 says, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” So how can we enter through a narrow gate carrying all the baggage in the world! It’s not going to fit! I’m starting to check my bags. Will you?