I am settling into my new physical appearance after a thirtyfive pound weight loss. Since the process took nearly six years, it was not burdensome for me. Now that the weight is off, I wonder why I waited so long to accomplish the task? I am also quite pleased that it did not require a drastic change in behavior. I simply ate a little less everyday and I increased my physical activity to thirty minutes a day on an elliptical. There were no food cravings nor was I tired or cranky. Thirty five pounds gone...I didn’t miss it.
The weight loss made me reflect upon other areas of my life that are out of sight and out of mind. Excess baggage, I have carried a lot of it over the years. There are material objects gone or used only sparingly and, much like my weight, I didn’t miss them.
How often have I purchased something, thinking I must have it, only to find it gathering dust in a few months? The latest and greatest cooking appliance or cooking tool! A new fangled wash cloth that cleans everything! A pillow that will guarantee a good night’s sleep! Infomercial marketers love customers like me.
But probably the biggest excess baggage I carry is needless worry and anxiety concerning so many aspects of my life. How will I manage the household budget, save enough for college for my children, and save for retirement? How can my wife and I juggle our jobs, spend time with our children, and still have enough energy and enthusiasm for each other? God knows me and my anxieties.
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
Matthew 6:31-33 (ESV)
And what is God’s solution?
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 6:33 (ESV)
I have spent a lifetime accumulating excess baggage and what has it achieved? There are so many things in my life that I have clung to but God, through His grace and mercy, has allowed me to let them go. If I seek to do His will first, if I seek His kingdom, all of my priorities will be aligned with His and I will truly live the fulfilled life for which He created me.
Excess baggage, whether material or psychological, I don’t miss it when I give it up to God.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.