Sermons

Summary: At the end of a year, we can choose to let go of things that have weighed us down in the previous year. We can lose some of the baggage that we carry around and choose to replace it with the love of Christ.

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How many times have you stood forsaken at the baggage carousel, watching the luggage track spit out piece after piece of luggage, but never yours? Why is it, when all chance of my suitcase ever showing up is gone, I feel compelled to stand there and watch the few remaining orphan bags circling aimlessly, as if believing that my stuff is going to suddenly materialize before my eyes if I stare hard enough? But it doesn't.

It's happened again. The airlines has lost your luggage. The good news is that eventually they almost always find your bag and attempt to send it to you. Despite all my traveling, I've never really lost my luggage. The bad news is that lost luggage has an uncanny sense of timing, managing to show up either just as you are about to head for the airport for your flight home, or worse yet, showing up about 10 minutes after you've left for a new destination. Some pieces of luggage have been known to follow frequent fliers around for weeks before finally ending up back in their owners' possession.

Losing your luggage can be one of life's most annoying, discombobulating, fuzzy-toothed inconveniences. Savvy travelers have learned never to check through crucial papers, medications needed daily, or all of their socks and underwear. It's just too risky.

But, sometime, in the days following Christmas, we should all make a conscious, exerted effort to "lose our luggage."

Most of us are far more bogged down with baggage than we may even realize. Parade magazine in their annual "The Best and Worst" carried a story several years ago about a survey conducted among vice presidents and personnel directors of the nations 100 largest corporations. They were asked to relate their most unusual experiences interviewing prospective employees during the last year. Their year-old report included:

A job interviewee who challenged the interviewer to arm wrestle.

A balding candidate who excused himself and then returned wearing a full hairpiece.

A candidate who wore headphones to the interview and, when asked to remove them, explained that she could listen to the interviewer and the music at the same time.

An applicant who interrupted the questioning to phone her therapist for advice.

A candidate who dozed off during the interview.

A candidate who muttered, "Would it be a problem if I'm angry most of the time?"

Now there's some folks carrying around some real baggage they would be better off losing.

How about you? How many extra pounds of grudges are you packing around? How many handbags of animosity? How many flightbags of resentment? How many rolling bags packed with revenge?

Many of us feel compelled to make New Year's resolutions that we optimistically carry with us into the new year. But few of us stop and consider the load we already have packed and ready to go. The worst we can do is to take these bags bursting with old grudges, unforgiven acts or merciless attitudes with us into the new year.

Let's lose that luggage.

Besides, if one of your "resolutions" is the ever-popular commitment to lose weight, what better way to shed a few of the most unsightly of bumps and bulges any of us can carry around?


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