"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Me and My Luggage

My friends hate to travel with me. Whether it is vacation, a weekend camping trip, an overnight hike or a musical tour, they hate to see my car pull into the driveway. Why is that? I am not one to travel lightly. Even if it is a weekend trip, there are always those circumstances for which I must plan.

You know, the ‘what if I fall in the pool or lake more than once’ and need extra socks and pants. ‘What if I find a good wireless connection for my laptop’ and I can get some surf time in? So, I usually end up with one bag full of my electronics (Laptop, iPod, Pocket PC, portable DVD player and various chargers and cables), then another bag full of twice as many clothes as I actually need, then another bag with the essentials of travel, like chocolate and potential water balloons.

The point is that I’m known for all the baggage I trundle along with as I travel the highways. Are you the same way? Regardless of how you pack for a trip, we all do have one thing in common and that is the unseen baggage which we carry. We have accumulated it from failed relationships, financial problems, abusive situations, employment problems, broken or dysfunctional families, lack of education and so many other areas far too numerous to name. It is much easier to leave a suitcase at home than it is to leave some of our internal baggage behind.

Now, before you get all excited about this being an expose’ on my life I will just share that I have my own fair share of baggage. I’ve also learned that it does not matter what age we are, we can still add to the stack of luggage we carry and it gets heavier and heavier with each day unless we learn to deal with it. By this time in my life, I’ve got a trainload full. As a Christian, it is easy for me to say, ‘Oh, just turn it all over to God and He’ll take your cares away” (I Peter 5:7), but to be honest, sometimes that just doesn’t cut it for me. My personality is one to take care of things myself and effect the changes I need to make.

One of my favorite vocalists and friends is Kirk Talley who wrote a song several years ago entitled “Past Your Past”. In it he speaks of a young lady who was struggling with a lot of old baggage and could not put it behind her to begin living in today. The song goes on to encourage her (and us);

“You can get past your past. You can walk away from painful memories. Get past your past; you don’t have to be alone. You can stand upon the Word of God; your yesterdays can be gone. Let Jesus bring you past your past and then you can go on.”

Music is the medium that speaks to my soul. Be it good jazz and blues, rock and roll, or contemporary Christian; music can stir me like no other vehicle. Each time I hear this song, I am reminded that I can put my baggage behind and move on into today. First I must ask God’s forgiveness and then I have to forgive myself. It’s hard, it’s scary, it can be emotional and it may require accountability with others, but you can begin to leave your past behind, one tote bag at a time.

And for today my friends, this is the gospel according to Jimmy.


At 11:02 AM, Blogger Janice said...


I guess you carry the chocolate in your bags to bribe folks to travel with you? Good thinking!

You're right. Everyone comes with baggage. Some just pack better than others and it isn't as noticeable to the human eye.

But no matter how much baggage you carry, if you continue traveling with God, the load will get lighter over time.

Hope your new job is going well.

At 12:16 PM, Blogger Nancy said...


I am always overpacked. You never know if it is going to be cold or hot or in between and you can never have too many pairs of socks and underwear!

A separate bag for the essentials such as snacks and chocolate are also critical because you never know when you might need nourishment and you may be far from an establishment that provides such staples.

When you pull everyone out of a pickle with your many items of luggage you will be called a hero... until that time, keep packing!

I appreciate that song, but I too think I need to take care of things on my own and need to be reminded that God is there to do that for me!

Have a great trip and I look forward to seeing the pictures from your camera phone. I emailed mine to photobucket where Darlene set me up, it was very easy then to put on my blog!

Take Care

At 8:15 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Hi Jimmy,


You sound just like me. I do not travel lightly, especially when I go to Starbucks to write :)

That will change when I get my laptop, then I wont carry so much stuff with me :)

Music is also the one thing that the Lord uses to minister to and speak to me, allowing me to deal with the issues one tote bag at a time and grow in the Lord.

Keep on sharing my free. I have truly been blessd today as I have read your post.

Till later,


At 6:20 PM, Blogger Maria del Carmen said...

I travel light...no baggage. God takes all that away...doing away with the old and starting fresh with a new thing. (I read it somewhere in Isaiah.)

At 11:16 PM, Blogger shannon said...

What great insight, Jimmy. You have a good brain. :) Thanks for another good reminder.

BTW--your site looks awesome!

At 11:36 PM, Blogger ~phil~ said...

first of all, your page looks incredible....

as i read your blog about personal baggage, i'm reminded of a show called starting over where this lady is carrying around alot of emotional baggage and her therapist decides to make a comparison by stuffing a large amount of suitcases to signify the amount of "baggage" weighing her down. there was at least 10 peices of luggage that she had to lug around until she was able to discard her emotional baggage....great post jimmy.

At 4:06 PM, Blogger BHGA said...

This was a great post..and you are right, it doesn't matter what age we are, there is still baggage to deal with....thanks for the great insight...Blessings to you....

At 5:10 PM, Blogger Vicki said...

Jimmy, you've come a long way with this blog and I can't think of a better header for you. Darlene did such a great job. Thanks for today's post, too. I'm learning to pack lighter....lol....

At 9:39 PM, Blogger *~Tey~* said...

Hi Jimmy

I went on a camp this past weekend. I decided this year that I would pack light. So I did. I managed to fit my clothes and my donna and my pillow and everything I need into one bag. But because it's summer I didn't think that maybe i should bring a jumper or oscks of shoes. When we arrived at Mt tamborine lodge it was sooo cold (in the mountains) and my first though was 'Why did I pack so light!' This experience has taught me to be better planned in future.

It's better to have too much luggage, or atleast the essentials then to go a hole weekend without something very important.

At 11:35 PM, Blogger Jimmy said...

Thanks everyone for your comments on my packing and traveling habits. I'm glad you all stopped by and hope you will be back.



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