Travel Lightly….. And Carry On….

Just Thinking…

It’s not that I don’t get out much. I’ve been half way around the world and back, and have travel blood racing in my veins. It’s that I still don’t know how to pack.


This is what I want my luggage to look like.


This is how much I actually end up with.


And this is what I do.

Pathetic, isn’t it. Too much stuff. Why is it that when I see this sign:

baggage sign

that I immediately also see this tag:



I know what happens to luggage at the airport; I’ve watched the guys throw them onto the little carts and then toss them on the conveyor to the plane. I’ve seen how they come slamming down into the baggage area carousel.

airport stacks

And I know how luggage all looks alike, and I know how people personalize their luggage. Mine is black with red and yellow sparkly yarn tied to all the handles. My parents used to put duct tape initials on the sides of their luggage. I know folks who deliberately buy the rattiest most beat up luggage they can find at yard sales, on the presumption that no one will bother to steal it at the airpot.


You can make it yourself, or buy it at:

ugly lug sign

Sigh. I don’t want ugly luggage. I don’t want luggage that is busting out the seams. I don’t want luggage that makes me pay extra for excess weight or pieces. I just want to travel with a nice piece that is easily organized, easily totable, and fits all the regulations. Is that too much to ask? I want something like this:


So what’s the problem, you ask? The problem is that I want to carry too much stuff. If I’m gone for a week, do I really need 7 tees? Do I really need 5 pairs of shoes? You get the idea. The sad part is that I end up actually not using all this stuff that I so frantically packed. So I just tote it around….. for nothing.

The rule about carry-on’s actually helped me. It made me think a little more carefully about what I choose to take with me. And I have now reached the point that I can travel with a carry-on bag and a purse and it covers just about any need that I may have. Maybe less really is more?

And the same rule is true in most of life. I can go to one extreme and be a hoarder, piling up “stuff” to the ceiling in every room of the house. Or the other extreme is being exceptionally austere with barely anything to sit on in the room. I prefer a balance, and try to get a balance that’s more to the austere end.

Or how about my closet. I have three sizes of clothes in there: too big, too small, and just right. I call it my “Three Bears” closet. Yes, I know that I’ll probably never wear the too small clothes again; yes, I hold on to them.

My hall closet is stuffed with toilet paper and kleenex. I have this fear of running out of either at midnight during a snow storm. The fact that this has never actually happened to me doesn’t matter. I just want this stuff…. this sense of security, know what I mean?

My pantry is full. I expect to feed an army of starved teenage boys at any moment…. or at least, it looks that way.

Now none of these examples are actually wrong, or a moral failing. But there are other areas in which I carry too much baggage that can be problematic. I carry too much weight, and should ideally lose 10-20 pounds. Sometimes I carry worry or grudges. Sometimes I carry fears. Sometimes I carry the weight of the world. Sometimes I carry bad memories of bad choices. And those start to look like overstuffed ugly luggage.

So I keep telling myself to let it go, travel lightly, stay sensible. Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

The Message puts it this way: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

That’s what I need to do: learn to live freely and lightly as I walk with Jesus. He won’t give me too much to carry because He helps me carry it.

I like this from Matthew 11:30: “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” If I am to be like Jesus, then I need to travel with a lighter burden. And I have to do that by turning it all over to Him.


Yep. In the travels of life, it’s nice to only go with carry on luggage. I really don’t want the burden of excess baggage, and I REALLY don’t want the burden of ugly excess baggage.

Father, Help me get rid of all that excess baggage that I seem to insist on carrying around with me. Help me carry on…. with Jesus. Amen.

To God Be The Glory….

Published in: on August 25, 2013 at 4:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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