[gigya src=”https://abfiles.s3.amazonaws.com/swf/audioboom_default_player_v1.swf” style=”background-color:transparent; display:block; min-width:300px; max-width:700px;” flashvars=”image_option=none&imgURL=&link_color=%23c70067&mp3Author=mneely2&mp3Duration=206704.0&mp3LinkURL=https%3A%2F%2Faudioboom.com%2Fboos%2F3007408-no-extra-baggage-needed&mp3Time=12.21pm+20+Mar+2015&mp3Title=No+Extra+Baggage+Needed&mp3URL=https%3A%2F%2Faudioboom.com%2Fboos%2F3007408-no-extra-baggage-needed.mp3%3Fsource%3Dwordpress&player_theme=light&rootID=boo_player_1&show_title=true&waveimgURL=https%3A%2F%2Fd15mj6e6qmt1na.cloudfront.net%2Fi%2Fw%2F2188162″ width=”480″ height=”150″ allowFullScreen=”true” wmode=”transparent”]
I’ve been doing some spring cleaning. This was a project I knew would need my undivided attention and plenty of time. I consider myself somewhat of a collector. Perhaps I over do it. My collections include items from work, a plethora of writing projects, magazines, books I’m either reading or intend to read, and enough hobby paraphernalia to start my own store. As I cleaned out, sorted and organized I came across drawers filled with memorabilia and boxes with enough junk to keep a small recycling plant busy. I sifted through cards, letters, newspaper clippings, and precious photos. Those items brought back special moments of the past but I knew I had to pare down to just the important items, and let go of the things I no longer needed. The remainder of the junk or ‘extra stuff’ had to be tossed away because it too, was getting out of control and weighing me down. It occurred to me that our Christian life is like that as well. We tend to accumulate extra baggage along the way that needs to be sorted through, dealt with and thrown away. But many times we don’t do that. We let it continue to build until the burden is too much to bear. Maybe it’s the pressure of societal issues, poor decisions, regrettable comments, broken relationships or friendships. Maybe we spoke to our children or husband in a manner that was unbecoming of the Proverbs 31 woman. Whatever our weaknesses or failures are, it is never too late to begin again and make a fresh start. When we think about it, it’s just like spring cleaning.
Isaiah 43:18-19 tells us, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”
I always feel so much better when the ‘junk’ no longer clutters my mind and soul, and I can focus on the important things in life. It is so freeing to know that I am forgiven for making a mess of things. God’s word tells us to put the past behind us and rejoice in the opportunity to start something new. Even when we hold on to the stuff we no longer need God gives us strength, clarity, presence of mind, and His word to help us find our way.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells us, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” There is “a time to plant and a time to uproot; a time to keep and a time to give away.” It is in His perfect timing that we kneel before Him and ask Him to take what we can no longer handle on our own. It is He who takes the lead and assumes the burdens we have encumbered. And, He longs for us to submit ourselves to His way of handling our lives.
Are you ready for a fresh start? As we look to the week ahead think about what baggage you will leave behind. I will be praying for you as you look forward to what will be. I know I am. Trust Him.