I’ve been a hiker most of my life. I not only enjoy the physical exercise, but I find the time out in nature to be spiritually uplifting and renewing. While out on a cool, fall morning – with the light bouncing off the chollas – I got to thinking about back packs. A flash of the movie, Up in the Air, with George Clooney came to mind. It’s a 2009 movie about a man who travels the country letting people go. Yes, he is hired to terminate people. Some of those scenes are hilarious, and others are downright depressing. His company decides to “upgrade” the process by eliminating HIS role. I won’t give away the story, but on the side, he gives these talks about “What’s in your backpack?” and shares how the burdens of life can weigh us down. He goes as far as to say most of life slows us down. This is coming from a lonely, cynical man, but his opinion changes later in the movie You’ll have to watch it.
Backpacks are essential equipment for long hikes. They carry your water, layers of clothing, food and emergency items in case you get injured or lost. I am shocked at how many people hit the trails in the hot desert with nothing other than a very small bottle of water. That’s a recipe for disaster! You need to be responsible and prepared. The harder and longer the hike, the heavier that backpack can get. When we climbed Mt. Whitney – the tallest mountain in the Continental US – our packs were 45 pounds. Eesh! If you aren’t in good shape, those backpacks can give you neck and back aches like nothing you’ve experienced.
While out on this particular hike, I considered what I carry on a regular basis in my emotional backpack. At times, I think my emotional baggage in that backpack has been the size of a VW Bug! No wonder I have felt like a snail moving along life. I have kept things in that backpack that were no longer needed. Their expiration date came and went! Thankfully, I have been sorting through a lot of my past and the emotional garbage that goes with it. That is when God reminded me that He wants to carry our baggage. “Give me your backpack – I can take it, no matter how much it weighs.” He is wanting us to let go and let Him.
Most of us are embarrassed as to what we have clung to, so we say, “Oh no, Lord. I couldn’t. You wouldn’t want to know what I have in there.” We hold tight to it, even if the weight is bringing us to our knees! Well, He already knows every item in our baggage. Hand it over! The best part is you don’t ever have to take it back. He will either carry what is necessary or toss aside what isn’t serving you. Boom! Our load is lightened up, and we are free to move more quickly.
The lighter the load, the more able we are to move toward our destiny or calling. I think some of us subconsciously understand this and deliberately keep our packs heavy out of fear. What if we can’t handle our calling? What is we blow it? We’ll never know if we are sitting still trying to budge a huge VW bug! The time is now for us to let go and let God. He needs us to fulfill our purpose for such times as these. Be brave! Hand over the backpack and see where God takes you. Anything you ever need in an emergency, He will have your backpack.
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