And tomorrow, when out of habit you pick your luggage back up, set it down again. Set it down again and again until that sweet day when you find you aren’t picking it back up. Max Lucado
Getting so sick that you can hardly get up off the couch for any reason whatsoever reminds you of several important life truths.
1. Life is fragile.
2. Our physical health is fragile.
3. Our hearts and minds are fragile.
4. We are all dependent upon the goodwill of others.
5. We waste too much time burdening ourselves with stuff that doesn’t matter.
I’d like to think that I don’t need to bottom-out by illness very often to remember how fragile life is…but sometimes I fear that is what God uses to get my attention. Otherwise, I get busy (and stay busy) doing stuff that really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense (in the larger scheme of life.)
I don’t need anyone to crack the whip over me…I do a wonderful job of it all on my own. Pathetic. Ridiculous.
To explain, let me share a conversation I had several years ago with good friends during our bookclub meeting. If memory serves, three of us were lamenting about various slowdowns, setbacks, and frustrations about work, goals, and getting into the next stage of new projects. We were all working hard to make things happen and feeling the weight of that burden. Picture us being loaded down with several pieces of weighty, large, cumbersome armloads of luggage trying to squeeze through an infinitely tiny revolving door.
Suddenly, the oh so wise fourth member of our group piped up and said, “I’m sitting here listening to you all talk and it strikes me that God is just giving you all a break…a rest…and none of you are taking advantage of it.” Ouch.
I remember feeling like someone smacked me upside the head because my friend was right.
Why oh why can’t we just lay our baggage down and leave it be for awhile (or permanently?)
Baggage…to my mind equals thinking the following kind of self-punishing, crazy woman thoughts which tell me that:
I only have value when I’m productive, successful, making lots of $$$, feeling good about myself, my weight, my relationships, my future…and on and on the list goes.
There are a lot of challenges to aging…but one of the benefits is the welcome realization that I don’t have to carry all this weight anymore…and I’m so much more fun to be around when I’m not dragging the weight of my unrealistic expectations behind me.
Because the truth is, when I expect too much of me…I also expect too much of you and that expectation is far too weighty a burden for our relationship to carry, survive, thrive…and go the distance.
Traveling light…it’s always a good thing.