To some degree, I am a planner. This means if a vacation is coming up, I probably have a list going of what to pack. Can’t forget my charger! I also have semi-folded piles of clothes awaiting the suitcase. A hat is laid out, next to the matching shirt and just the right jeans. I always intend on bringing my big bag, my makeup bag and my carry-on bag. I’ll assure you, I’ve got bags. Plenty of bags for the trip.
Yet, Jesus says, “Don’t take any money or a traveler’s bag, or even an extra pair of sandals.” (Lu. 10:4)
What? I love bags.
Even worse, He says this right after proclaiming, “Go now, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves.” (Lu. 10:3)
Suddenly, it occurs to me: If we lug along bags of stuff we don’ need, the enemy will rob us. Jesus gives us this word of warning, because He doesn’t want us to get pick-pocketed by the enemy.
We don’t need the bazillion things we think we need, we just need abandon. Abandon is our protection.
I’ve seen this play out in my life. When I try to bring all my good plans, they quickly go sour and I feel angry at God. When I try to carry a complete understanding of all that is going on in the world, I scour the news and feel anxiety. When I take with me good intentions to do a whole lot of stuff, rather than stay connected to God in the moment, I get nervous and overwhelmed. When I decide I need to really need to get a big retirement going, I must take my vitamins every night or I have to be like the other moms, I carry unneeded burdens with me.
Keeping up with the world can be a bag of burdens. An open target for the enemy to rob. Like little Red Riding Hoods his ambush almost always comes.
Jesus, though, says we can let go of our bags and let our heart freely follow His footsteps. This abandon is our protection.
What bags do you need to let go of today? What is weighing you down more than it is letting you freely adventure with God? Isn’t it time to really start following Jesus today? Isn’t it time to lighten your load?