Travel Light

First Published at 1st Corinthians 13 Parenting on January 21, 2015

“Please place the heaviest bag on the scale.”

This was the instruction from the lady standing behind the ticket counter as we began our process of checking in for our international flight. Of course all eyes from my family locked in on me as I sheepishly gave a shrug and with all my might flung my bag onto the scale. 51.3 pounds, 1.3 pounds over the limit. I quickly unzipped my bag and started distributing shoes and my make-up bag into my children’s bags. I then noticed swim goggles, books, and suntan lotion had all been tucked into my bag as well. I again redistributed the load and weighed in at a very light 46 pounds.

Lesson # 1 Just like in life, it is better if we don’t carry a burdensome load. Allow others to help in the process. Distribute the responsibility. This works well in my family as well as in my leadership responsibilities at work.

I then make my way to the terminal and stop to purchase a bottle of water and a magazine. One clerk is bright and cheery and the other is very grumpy and rude leaving her co-worker to say to me, “I am so sorry, something must be wrong. She is never crabby.”

Lesson # 2 When we hold onto “baggage” it robs us of the joy of truly being present and interacting with those we love as well as those we come in contact with every day.

I continue my walk to the gate and in front of me is a very enthusiastic three-year-old little girl. She is so excited to be traveling. She is skipping and twirling and talking to strangers. She is stopping to look at all the display cases of gadgets and goods most people don’t even see. She stops at a beautiful painting and stares at it, causing me to stop and look too. Taking in this colorful painting and listening to the excitement of this little girl describing it to her mom made the painting come to life with a vibrancy I am sure I would not have experienced if it weren’t for the commentary of this little girl.

Lesson # 3 Enjoy the journey. Much joy can be found in all the twists and turns life has to offer if we just open our eyes to see and have faith that God’s plan for our life is better than we could ever imagine. What if we didn’t always look to the final destination but enjoyed the journey it takes to get there.

I caught up to my family with a new sense of excitement about the trip and all it had to offer each step of the way. I am approaching the new year with the same anticipation.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Matthew 11: 29 – 30