Day 19 of Lent, Psalm 25
Have you ever had so much baggage that it made it difficult to travel? Or maybe it wasn’t that you thought you had too much, but the airlines thought so, charging you a fee for going over the weight limit or for just taking anything! I went on a summer mission’s project some years back where two different girls had such large bags (in the day before weight limits were strictly enforced) that it made it difficult to travel or even for them to keep up and follow the others. One did not have wheels on her huge duffle bag, and she could not even carry it, but needed to drag it. Of course, some of the guys stepped in to help, slowing down both of them. The other girl (me) had a rather large suitcase, and even though she had a difficult time loading and unloading it for each plane, train, or bus, she was determined for others not see to her struggle or know how much stuff she really had!
What baggage do you carry?
The problem in carrying too much baggage is that it gets tends to get in the way. It can make you wish you traveled more lightly. Similarly, there are those things, baggage that is burdensome and weighty, that obstruct us from following God’s lead. Maybe the baggage is choices that have been made in the past, that seem to predetermine any steps you take now. Possibly you feel the weight of financial strain or debt. You may have so much debt that you feel it owns you and you don’t feel the freedom to go or give where God is leading you. Possibly the heavy load is time. You have loaded your schedule up so much that you can’t squeeze in the very things that are really important. There is no space to step out in faith. Or, there could be a relationship that keeps you from following God’s lead and it possibly holds you back.
For me, at times, it has been the thoughts of others. I felt this weighty load consistently. I cared more about other’s ideas of me and who they thought I should be or what I should be doing. At one point of crisis, I needed to be the one to decide my career path, and not my parents. It was time for me to grow up and make the decision to follow God’s lead. Another time, I needed to change some relationships, for the time I spent with them was not taking me to good places. With the weight of each piece of luggage, comes a struggle. Each time I asked myself, “Am I willing to follow His lead?” I want to be willing.
Open to being lead?
If my hands are not open, but too full with my baggage, it is hard to receive what God has for me. What I want for myself, is to be freed up to follow the Leader. Something that stands out to me in Psalm 25 today, is that David (the writer), trusts God to lead and He also wants to learn to follow:
“Make me know Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God o my salvation.
I want to be a person, like this, who is willing, teachable and available. I can’t follow, if I am not willing to be lead.
How open are you to following God’s lead?
God is worth following
If I am willing, then I can hand over my weighty baggage to the One who is leading. He gladly takes it and wants us to trust Him. I love how this Psalm says:
All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth…
His path is a good path that He leads us on. He is so worthy to follow and to give what pulls me down.
Why do you think God is worthy to follow this day?
Remembering my condition
It also helps to remember that I need God to lead me. Left to my own, I will keep my baggage and my safe path. David remembered his own vulnerability:
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to Your lovingkindness remember me, for Your goodness sake. O Lord.
What heavy baggage holds you back?
Sometimes it takes some time to learn to travel lightly. That is why it is great to have others to travel with along the path. Think about who could help you or coach you in unpacking some of the weight you carry. I would rather travel lightly, and be ready to follow, then have all the “right” luggage and unable to move my feet or have my hands open. God will lead and I hope to be freed up to follow.