Belfast Telegraph

Thought For The Weekend: Time to ditch extra baggage


By Rev Craig Cooney, Hope Community Church of Ireland, Craigavon

My wife and I are one of those couples you might have witnessed at an airport. You'll know the sort I'm referring to. They're typically kneeling on the ground in the vicinity of the check-in counter, suitcases wide open, pulling out all sorts of personal items, frantically trying to reduce the weight of their luggage. Yes, sadly that's been us. On more than one occasion.

The problem is, when we're packing, everything seems essential. How can we possibly spend a week in Lanzarote without seven pairs of trousers, five pairs of shoes and 17 t-shirts? Not to mention the 10 books we plan to read.

However, it's amazing how ruthless we can be when we are informed by the smiling check-in assistant how much the surcharge will be for the five kilos of extra weight in each bag. At that moment we have to ask ourselves: is carrying this worth the cost? Most often it's not.

In Hebrews 12:1 we read: "….let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…"

The writer is telling us to "travel lightly". If we are to run the race of life effectively, pursue our faith, accomplish our goals, achieve our ambitions, and find true fulfilment, we need to let go of any excess baggage. What kind of baggage? It could be many things, but probably includes unforgiveness, anger, bitterness, negativity, destructive habits, or toxic relationships.

Whatever it is, much like our heavy suitcases, holding onto them will simply cost too much. They will slow us down and keep us stuck. They're not worth it. The truth is, we have never really missed anything we have left behind. Most of it really wasn't needed in the first place. The journey would have been so much more fun and less stressful if we'd just brought the essentials.

Are you holding onto anything which is costing you more than it's worth? Is something slowing you down or hindering you from becoming all that you were created to be? Maybe today, it's time to ditch the excess baggage and move forward, lightly and freely, into the good future that I believe God desires for each one of us.

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