I can admit it…I over pack. I have the tendency to bring along way more than I need to. I can’t help it. Whether it’s a weeklong vacation or just a day trip, I always have these grand visions of us accomplishing way more than is humanly possible in the allotted time. But what if there is a pool? What if there is a baseball field? What if we decide last minute to bushwhack 4 days into the jungle and I don’t have a machete? (This has never happened). What if we end up remodeling a kitchen and I don’t have a wet tile saw? (Surprisingly, I’ve never remodeled a kitchen on vacation). And so, I usually just end up squeezing a bunch of random stuff into every last nook of the van. But when we break down on the side of the road and I can just simply reach for my flare gun, I guarantee I’ll be the one laughing.
If only this tendency of mine to over pack was limited to vacation travel. If I’m honest, this is a pretty common theme for me. I carry too much with me. I always have. I just don’t have the ability like some people I know to shake things easily. It turns out things do not just “roll off of me.” I guess this means I am, in fact, not rubber but glue.
While we’re being honest, my guess is there are a lot of people like me in this way. Not in regards to vacation travel but in life. A lot of us over pack. I see it in the faces of people I walk by every day. Without one exchange of words, it is clear. They are carrying something. And it’s heavy. They are tired. And for many, it hurts. It’s all they can do to keep going.
Maybe it’s the weight of careless words spoken….
You are not good enough.
You are not talented enough.
I don’t like you.
Or the weight of what’s been done…
You have done too many things wrong.
You have hurt too many people.
No one can accept you.
This is the burden many of us bear. We just can’t seem to set it down. Regardless of where we’re going, you can be certain it’s on the packing list.
That is what makes Jesus’ invitation so surprising.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Bring your junk. Crawl if you have to. Just come.
Last winter, my family was at the airport after returning from a family vacation. After securing the bags from the turnstile, my oldest was quick to grab one of the bags (the largest bag) I had placed by my side. He grabbed the handle and began to pull. Knowing he really just wanted to help, I proceeded to grab the remaining bags and we began the walk to the van. He started out fine but soon began lagging further and further behind. I could tell the suitcase was beginning to get the best of him. Soon I had to stop and wait for him to catch up.
Cody…why don’t you let me carry that for you?
To which he replied,
No. I can do it dad.
After several more minutes like this, I eventually took the bag from his hand. Now to be honest, this was really just a selfish move on my part because I was trying to speed things along. My son just wanted to help. He wanted to do it himself. He wasn’t ready to admit the bag was too heavy.
But the bag was too heavy.
As he released the bag, he gave a sigh of relief and ran to catch up with the group. I guess sometimes you just can’t feel the burden you’ve been carrying until it’s gone.
Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.