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Excess Baggage

The following article is from my April newsletter. I've had such good feedback from it that I decided to post it here. Next week I'll share Roger Mann's response. If you're interested in receiving my monthly newsletter, send me an email request at cec.murp@comcast.net. (Cec)

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As I stood in line at Delta’s baggage check-in, the agent said to the woman in front of me, “You’re nineteen pounds overweight. You’ll have to pay for the excess weight or take out some of the goods.”

The woman dropped out of line to repack and stuff items into her large purse.

As I watched, I thought of the excess luggage most of us carry—hurts, slights, betrayals, and rejections. We haven’t let them go, even though they weigh us down. For example, whenever someone mentions a person we haven’t forgiven, we feel a heaviness inside. Even anger.

Those thoughts reminded me of Greek mythology and Atalanta, the fleet-footed goddess. Her father, King Schoeneus, wanted her to marry, but she refused. Finally, she agreed to marry only if her suitor could outrun her in a footrace. If the challengers lost, they would be put to death. Many young men tried, lost the race—and their lives.

Hippomenes became the next suitor and asked the goddess Aphrodite for help. She gave him three golden apples.

The race began and Atalanta was soon twenty yards ahead. Hippomenes rolled one apple in front of her, and she stooped to pick it up. A little later, he rolled out the second and she grabbed it. And the third.

By then, Atalanta was so weighted down, Hippomenes passed her and won the race.

The story teaches us that we self-sabotage by holding on to “golden apples” of anger, resentment, and unforgiveness. They hinder by weighing us down in successfully running life’s race.

We know they’re there, and we know they hold us back. Even so, it’s not easy to cast off those hurt feelings and rejection. With God’s help and opening ourselves to individuals we trust, we can dispose of the things that weigh us down.

I'm running a race of life.

I rid myself of every kind of excess baggage. 


Anonymous said...

I have had more than my fair share of dealing with baggage – my own and other people’s – and both literal and metaphorical.

For the last 20 years of my career, I lived and worked overseas and spent a lot of time traveling, hanging out in airports and watching other travelers. A couple of observations I have made about the way some people handle their literal baggage also apply to the metaphorical kind as well.

When someone has a large bag over their shoulder, they often don’t have an accurate sense of how far it reaches past them. I have seen and experienced whacks from people turning and slamming others standing nearby with their protruding baggage. Sometimes you don’t even see it coming. Other times it is too late to get out of the way or there is no space to move. And often, the offender is not even aware of the pain he or she has caused, or if it is acknowledged, it may be implied that it is your fault.

Another common occurrence is if bystanders are aware of the large pieces of baggage being carried by others, they stand back and keep their distance. Rather than trip over a rolling bag being pushed or pulled, you want to give the person in charge of it a wide berth. Beware if you get too close or allow them to get too close. They may run up the back of your heels. Or they may stop or change directions suddenly, causing you to fall over the baggage and end up on the floor.

Yep, it’s a good idea to watch out for baggage – both our own and other people’s!


Roger Mann said...

Well said.