Luggage vs. Baggage

I have a large, bright PINK, light weight, suitcase.   In May I packed it and it’s smaller carry-on, for my month long trip to Honduras.   Everything I had I used and I wasn’t missing anything that I needed.  My LARGE suitcase weighed 48.5 pounds and the little one weighed 26 pounds.   To my surprise when I left Copan at 4:30 am, we walked to the bus station, instead of taking a cab, which was almost a mile, over cobblestone roads.  I was soaked and over heated when I got there.

This experience came back to me in the airport in Toronto.  I realized that I brought the same suitcase-even though the items were very different the bag weighed 46 pounds.   Some of the other participants I met in the airport brought a weekender, or small bag, with a knapsack.   It didn’t occur to me that I would take a bus and the subway to get to the missionary training.  The cab cost 50.00, plus tip the bus and subway cost us 2.50 because we bought our tokens at the airport.

In comparison to all that I have, I packed very little.  But I still brought too much.  Too much, because it was more than I wanted

As much as I try to “buy less,” and give away more, I have so much.

So maybe the questions are:

How can I feel comfortable –and I really do want to – have less and pack less?

What do I need to unpack, and leave behind?

How can I integrate into my being that what I have is not who I am?

 Could this be about what we put in our suitcase, or what “baggage” we carry with us?  It has been said that we spend the first 20 years of our life packing our bags so we can move on from our families of origin and the rest of our lives unpacking those “bags” so they don’t weight us down,and keep us from moving forward.

Defining who we are as God’s children outside of the things we own, or being defined by what we “do” or who is our family,  takes much personal reflection, time and intention.   I actually have a list that I look at on occasion when I am packing, to make sure I don’t forget something I need.  So my plan is to review that list, and then take the advice of one of my fellow missionaries suggested, “pack–then take out half of your stuff.”

We can do that with a suitcase, can we do it with our baggage?