Check your luggage with Jesus

By Pat Cantwell

Religion columnist

I want to discuss luggage, suitcases — you know, baggage.

My first overseas trip was to Paris with my siblings. I am a very detailed, analytical thinker, therefore, I had packed a large suitcase, filled with everything that I thought I might need.

The shock hit me in Paris, as we ascended the multiple stairs from the underground train up to the city street, that there were no handicap ramps and I could not lift the suitcase unless I used both hands, one step at a time.

Pat Cantwell

Pat Cantwell

After some polite Parisian men helped me to the street, I discovered that the rest of my family was already blocks ahead of me. Did I say uphill blocks ahead of me? With my heart pounding and short of breath, I finally got to the hotel where we were staying.

Did I tell you that I have claustrophobia, and the elevators in Paris are the size of a broom closet? By the time I got my suitcase and myself inside the elevator, I had to close my eyes to breathe.
The worst part of traveling with “the Beast,” as my nieces called my suitcase, was that the only man on the trip who could help me was my bother Bob, who had a bad back. I caused him so much pain, as he had to lift “the Beast” up into overhead racks on every Eurorail train that we traveled on for the next two weeks.

The irony of this story is that I brought warm, summer clothes, and it was very cool/cold in France and Germany. I had to wear the same pair of jeans for a week. Therefore, I was guilty of wrong planning, wrong weight, and wrong choices.

This is a funny story now, but it wasn’t funny then. When I remember how encumbered I was, I am reminded of the weight of sin that so easily entraps us.

Beloved, (that is the name that Jesus calls you, so I will too) we are on the most important journey that will take us all the way to our seats in heavenly places with Christ Jesus, at the right hand of the Father. We cannot allow ourselves to be slowed down.

What is packed in your “Beast?” What burdens of sin are slowing you down? Is it fear, anxiety, pride, vanity, unforgiveness, anger, adultery, fornication? Whatever it is, drop it all at the feet of Jesus. Do it right now.

Jesus tells us in Matt. 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and You shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my load is light.”

Do it now, then turn around and run as fast as you can. You are free.

Pat Cantwell writes about faith for the Portales News-Tribune. Contact her at: