by J. Randal Matheny
Airlines have lowered their baggage weight limits and tightened their restrictions. Whenever we return to Brazil after weeks in the U.S., we usually take back clothing, gifts and even a small piece of home or office equipment at times.
These days, however, it’s harder to take back much more than the essentials. As my wife packed the bags for our return from our last trip, she weighed the individual items before packing them, so we’d not have to redistribute them when the bags exceeded their weight limit. The system worked well.
Perhaps we need to do the same in our spiritual journey.
As we take our flight toward eternity, it would do us well to take a measure of what we carry with us.
On this flight, only the weighter items are permitted.
Such as the weightier matters, justice and mercy and faithfulness, that Jesus listed in Matthew 23:23.
Of course, in this sense, “weightier” means “more important.” Those things that matter most, that give sense to the details of mint and dill and cumin.
On the other hand, there are some weights that won’t make it when we present ourselves for the final flight.
The cares of this world will keep you from flying: “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap” (Luke 21:34 ESV).
Not just worry about to-do lists weigh a person down. Lack of self-control — giving oneself to loose living –, while on the surface appearing as the carefree life, is actually a heavy burden to bear.
And the writer of Hebrews in 12:1 mentioned others: “let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely.”
Under the figure of running a race — another activity where lightness is important –, any weight that gets in your way of finishing must be thrown aside. Sin is a tripper-upper. Or in our flight metaphor, a red flag that will get you pulled out of the boarding line, so it has no place in your baggage either.
On the spiritual journey toward heaven, then, it would appear that not the weight but the nature of the poundage is what really matters.
Pile in the good and right and just and holy. These are waved through with a smile.
Don’t even think of trying to hide sin and hate and care and vice under your shirts and slacks. These trigger the celestial x-rays every time.
What weights are you packing?
Watch those weight limits on your spiritual journey!