This was written originally as a devo for whillschurch.org
Got an email from a friend of mine yesterday. I’ve got to share it with you.
Just dropped our kids off at summer camp, a day late after arriving home from vacation yesterday. We had to walk past a long line of students and adults to find their room. We each had a couple of heavy bags we were dragging, as well as some pillows and bedding. Not one person spoke to us, or smiled or looked our way or much less offer to help us up the stairs with the stuff. I felt like we were totally invisible.
It got me thinking about how I behave toward the people who pass by me with their baggage. Do I acknowledge them and try to make them feel important? Do I just go about my day as though they weren’t there?
She’s on to something. Sometimes we can be so focused on our own world, we don’t notice somebody else dealing with their baggage. But I think it’s even more than that.
I think there is a direct correlation between how a person deals with luggage and how they deal with baggage. See if you can follow me…
Some people travel light – packing only what is barely essential. Think Bear Grylls. Just take what you need and ONLY what is NECESSARY. Others pack as if they will be gone for a year. We had a couple of girls pack two bags for a 4 night stay at camp this week. I just shook my head. They explained to me that they had to be prepared for the week. Prepared for what? It’s camp. I did not realize that Super Summer was now offering treks to Alaska. But there are some people that it doesn’t matter if it is an overnight stay or two weeks – they are bringing the same amount of clothes and shoes.
Some people – all they think about it is their baggage. Will it make it? Will they search it? What if they find my secret stash of nuclear weapons inside? What if it gets ripped? What if they lose it? Their whole trip is consumed by getting to the baggage carousel first to make sure their baggage made it with them. To other people – as long as we have money and a passport – it’s all good.
Some people – honestly, most people – always pack more than what they need. While it is an awesome feeling to come home with clean clothes in the suitcase, it means that you carried around things that you really didn’t need.
Some people accept help with their luggage, others refuse it.
Some people have bright colored, crazy looking luggage and other people are normal.
Okay…so maybe the last one doesn’t translate as well but one thing that does translate is this – when you are traveling with a large group of people, you will need help with your baggage. AND you will need to help someone else with their baggage.
There were 8 of us traveling to Brazil. We checked 14 bags – each one weighing close to the max – 70 pounds. Now most of that stuff was for the missionaries in Brazil. However, we needed all of us to deal with all of that baggage. And it worked because all of them looked up and recognized the other’s bags.
Are you following this? This is what church is – a bunch of people traveling together on the mission of God with baggage – some of it is ours, some of it is theirs. It all has to be dealt with and we will need the help of others with our baggage and we will BE the help for someone else.
We can’t NOT do the mission of God just because we have baggage. Sometimes, being on the mission deals with the baggage directly. But we need each other in the middle of it all.
It’s why life groups are so important. It’s why SERVING ALL is so important. It’s just another way we deal with our baggage.