Traveling light

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 30, 2004

Ronny Keller Michel – From the Heart

My attic is empty. When we moved into our present home, my husband and I decided not to store anything in the attic. We realized that we didn’t need anything that we had stored in the attic of our former home. So we began to simplify our lives by getting rid of things that we no longer need or use. Someone once told me that I was very nice to give away my furniture when I bought new items. I quickly responded, “No, it would be very nice of me to buy someone else new furniture and keep my old couch. They’re just saving me a trip to Goodwill.” I’d like to just leave my children photo albums, journals, and tons of memories. I’m sure they hope I leave behind a little cash, too, but I’m not promising anything. I want to go through this life ‘traveling light.’

Going on vacation is another time that I literally ‘travel light.’ I tend to pack much less than my husband does, and this constantly amazes him. I try to console him by saying that I’m just saving room in my bags in case I go shopping, but the truth is, I hate carrying things that I probably won’t need. But having an empty attic and a light suitcase doesn’t make me better, or worse, than anyone else, only different. Like my nine-year-old, Victoria, says when we disagree on what she should wear, “You know, Mom, everybody’s different.”

A few years ago, God challenged me to expand my ‘travel light’ philosophy to other areas of my life. He urged me not to store up resentments. I want to forget arguments, not pack them up away in the attic of my mind so that I can relive them. When others offend me, I need to forgive quickly and freely so that I don’t stumble over bags of bitterness. God even warned me that I was not to carry around the burdens of worry and doubt. Hebrews 12:1 instructs me to lay aside any hindrance and sin that would prevent me from running the race set before me. I can’t run if I’m carrying around weights of sin. And since I’m being totally honest with you, God is dealing with me right now about not letting strife creep into my home. With a husband and five children, sometimes strife doesn’t have to creep in, I open the door for it! Then God always reminds me of his warning in James 3:16, “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” I certainly don’t want every evil work in my home, so I have to make sure that I don’t let strife in.

Even if your attic is full and your suitcase is bulging, it’s still possible to ‘travel light’ as you run the race that God has set before you. Let’s commit to cleaning out old resentments, ditching our doubts, and striking out strife.