“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
This past year was a busy one for my speaking ministry, and that meant a lot of travel—specifically airplane travel. I don’t mind flying, but I absolutely hate packing. You see, I’m a chronic overpacker.
A few years ago, one of my trips gave me trouble. This particular event was a bigger than usual challenge because I was going to be away for nine days.
I spent several days planning my wardrobe—packing and repacking—weighing and reweighing the suitcase. I was determined to come in under the fifty-pound maximum. Finally success! I even had two and a quarter pounds to spare. I was off, zipping through check-in with no problem, literally flying high.
I enjoyed my week and a half speaking to others and sharing the things I’d learned from God. It’s always fulfilling to watch as God takes our stuff and uses it to impact others. But in the midst of my travels, I didn’t pay attention to the extra stuff I was accumulating. I always accumulate stuff at these events—books, souvenirs for those at home, and gifts I received from those attending. I was so busy that I didn’t take the time to prioritize what I needed to carry home versus what I just wanted to carry home.
It turned out there was be a big difference and a high cost.
By the time I had to check back in for the return trip home, I knew I was in trouble. Sure enough, when the clerk at the counter weighed my bag it was four pounds overweight. For those of you who aren’t aware, airlines are serious about weight limits. That overage cost me a cool one hundred dollars extra to get home.
As I pondered what I could have done differently, I couldn’t help but draw the comparison of the spiritual weight I carry with me daily. The expectations I take up without reason, the stress and worry I add to my load, and of course the guilt. Some of the guilt comes from things I should or shouldn’t have done—true sin. But a lot of it comes from things I just believe I should carry—whether God agrees or not.
This extra load comes from not paying attention, from not prioritizing the experiences in my life. I’ve learned, through experience, this extra load can cost even more. It can lead to burn-out, exhaustion (physical and mental), and worst of all, depression. Whenever I see that I’m overloaded, I come back to these verses and hand over all the extra stuff to Jesus. I exchange what I thought I wanted for what He knows I need. And it’s ALWAYS more manageable load.