Michel: Don’t carry around anything you can’t take to Heaven

Published 12:04 am Saturday, May 28, 2016

When our family travels, I pack a hotel bag for everyone. In our group, there is always the person who forgets to pack either a toothbrush, toothpaste, socks, makeup remover or any combination of those items.

In addition to the essentials, I typically throw in a bottle of water and snacks.

The last time I was out of town with my daughters, Lauren didn’t bring saline and her contacts dried out. On Victoria’s last trip home, she forgot her contact case, put both of her contacts in the cap of a pill bottle and ruined them.

For our upcoming girls’ weekend, I’m adding contact cases and saline to the hotel bag. I’m sure this is enabling them, but I don’t want to hear them complain and watch them squint.

Even with the extra supplies I bring, my bags are still lighter than theirs.

They pack extra clothes, swim suits and shoes. I carry only what I need and travel light.

A few years ago, God challenged me to expand my ‘travel light’ philosophy to other areas of my life. He urged me not to lug around resentments, arguments or offenses.

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.

Psalm 139:23-24 is a prayer I often pray. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

When I recently compared my heart to that scripture, there were a couple of things I had to let go of.

As I did, I heard the Holy Spirit speak to my heart, “Don’t carry around anything that you can’t take to Heaven.”

I quickly realized that fear and worry will not be in Heaven, so I’m not going to tote them around here, either.

And just as I pack extra things for my family when we travel, I daily carry around something for them — prayer. Lots of prayer.

Ronny Michel may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.