Traveling Light (Psalm 23)

Do you have some luggage of your own? Do you think God might use David’s psalm to lighten your load? Traveling light means trusting God with the burdens you were never intended to bear.

Why don’t you try traveling light? Try it for the sake of those you love. Have you ever considered the impact that excess baggage has on relationships? We’ve made this point at our church by virtue of a drama. A wedding is reenacted in which we hear the thoughts of the bride and groom. The groom enters, laden with luggage. A bag dangles from every appendage. And each bag is labeled: guilt, anger, arrogance, insecurities. This fellow is loaded. As he stands at the altar, the audience hears him thinking, Finally, a woman who will help me carry all my burdens. She’s so strong, so stable, so …

As his thoughts continue, hers begin. She enters, wearing a wedding gown but, like her fiancé, covered with luggage. Pulling a hanging bag, shouldering a carry-on, hauling a makeup kit, paper sack—everything you could imagine and everything labeled. She has her own bags: prejudice, loneliness, disappointments. And her expectations? Listen to what she is thinking: Just a few more minutes and I’ve got me a man. No more counselors. No more group sessions. So long, discouragement and worry. I won’t be seeing you anymore. He’s going to fix me.

Finally they stand at the altar, lost in a mountain of luggage. They smile their way through the ceremony, but when given the invitation to kiss each other, they can’t. How do you embrace someone if your arms are full of bags?

For the sake of those you love, learn to set them down.

And, for the sake of the God you serve, do the same. He wants to use you, you know. But how can he if you are exhausted? This truth came home to me yesterday afternoon on a run. Preparing for a jog, I couldn’t decide what to wear. The sun was out, but the wind was chilly. The sky was clear, but the forecast said rain. Jacket or sweatshirt? The Boy Scout within me prevailed. I wore both.

I grabbed my Walkman but couldn’t decide which tape to bring. A sermon or music? You guessed it, I took both. Needing to stay in touch with my kids, I carried a cell phone. So no one would steal my car, I pocketed my keys. As a precaution against thirst, I brought along some drink money in a pouch. I looked more like a pack mule than a runner! Within half a mile I was peeling off the jacket and hiding it in a bush. That kind of weight will slow you down.

What’s true in jogging is true in faith. God has a great race for you to run. Under his care you will go where you’ve never been and serve in ways you’ve never dreamed. But you have to drop some stuff. How can you share grace if you are full of guilt? How can you offer comfort if you are disheartened? How can you lift someone else’s load if your arms are full with your own?

For the sake of those you love, travel light.

For the sake of the God you serve, travel light.

For the sake of your own joy, travel light.

There are certain weights in life you simply cannot carry. Your Lord is asking you to set them down and trust him. He is the father at the baggage claim. When a dad sees his five-year-old son trying to drag the family trunk off the carousel, what does he say? The father will say to his son what God is saying to you.

“Set it down, child. I’ll carry that one.”

What do you say we take God up on his offer? We just might find ourselves traveling a little lighter.

By the way, I may have overstated my packing problems. (I don’t usually take snowshoes.) But I can’t overstate God’s promise: “Unload all your worries onto him, since he is looking after you” (1 Pet. 5:7 JB).

Max Lucado, Traveling Light: Releasing the Burdens You Were Never Intended to Bear (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2001), 8–9.











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