July 7, 2021
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Mount Luggage - that's what I remember about the day that our whole family was trapped at O'Hare Airport. We had taken our daughter to Chicago to get her to college. There was record rainfall that day. It was like nine and a half inches in a few hours, and O'Hare Airport literally had become an island. It was cut off from the rest of the world. It was like Camp O'Hare! And the overpass that people had to go through to get in was flooded with four feet of water. Well, needless to say, all the people were stranded there; everyone was running trying to get to a phone. This was pre cell phones. Every phone was taken; everybody was trying to find options, "How do I get out of here?" "How can I arrange for a ride if it ever does open up?" "Where can we stay tonight?"
And, of course, I was a Dad with three kids and a wife there, and I'm trying to find a room, a ride. The problem was in order to take advantage of any break I could find, we had to move fast. I mean, it was just a zoo! Well, that's what we could not do (move fast) because we were bringing our daughter to college, and she was bringing her whole world to college with her. And since we had to fly, we all brought luggage, and she brought big trunks. And I think we had something like 12 pieces of luggage, and my daughter was sitting on that pile of baggage in the baggage claim area. And when we needed to move, we were too tied down to do it.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Bogged Down With Baggage."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Luke 9, and I'm going to begin reading at verse 2, where Jesus has called His twelve disciples together. And it says, "He sent them out to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them, 'Take nothing for the journey. No staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic.'"
In essence, Jesus is saying, "I've got kingdom work for you to do. I want you to travel light. Don't get bogged down with a lot of extra gear. Limit yourself to the basics you really need and be ready to move any time when there's a job to do. I don't want you to have to say, 'Whoa! Hold it! We can't take all this weight with us. I've got to go get more. How am I going to carry...'" He wants His servants to be highly mobile; ready to move at His command.
Now, there's a phrase that might describe many of us Western Christians. We're slaves to our stuff. We've got so much stuff! If God were to ask us to make a move for Him or to start a work for Him, or to suddenly give a very large percentage of what we've got to His work, to change our lifestyle to serve Him, we couldn't. We're like our family at O'Hare Airport. We've got so much material baggage we can't move it when He tells us to. We limit God's ways of using us by our accumulation of stuff. We don't own it, it owns us.
Many of us think we don't have much at all. We'll say, "Well, a lot of people have more than I do." But if we look at our Lord, who traveled very light in this world, we've got a lot. God never meant for us to keep enlarging our standard of living to the point where we can't afford to leave all and follow Him. We've got so much debt, so much we own, so much stuff. And instead of continuing to give it away, we build a little kingdom. He may or may not ask you to leave all and follow Him; He did ask a lot of people to do that and He still is. But we need to live so we're always ready to move for Him.
We have a heritage in our faith of leaders and followers of Christ who travel light. Let's not let the accumulation of earth stuff trap us into God's second best. You have to always be ready to leave it all and you've got to be able to leave it all. When God asks you to move or change, you just don't want to be trapped by a mountain of baggage.