Aviators have known since the dawn of flight that if there is too much weight the air craft will crash. Spiritually speaking, G. K. Chesterton captured this gravitational reality when he made this statement in his book Orthodoxy: “Angels can fly because they can take themselves lightly.” What about humans? What happens if we are carrying too much baggage? I invite you to read more.
A news report back in 2001 about a twin engine plane crash which killed 9 people in the Bahamas, stated that investigators found no sign of mechanical difficulty and concluded that the cause of the crash was due to overloading and improper balance. According to a report of the National Transportation Safety Board, “The total weight of the luggage, fuel on board at the time of the accident, plus the weight of the passengers showed that the total gross weight of the airplane was substantially exceeded.”
Safety guidelines state: “Compliance with the weight and balance limits of any aircraft is critical to flight safety. Operating above the maximum weight limitation compromises the structural integrity of an aircraft and adversely affects its performance. Operation with the center of gravity (CG) outside the approved limits results in control difficulty.”
I have concluded that God could have written similar safety guidelines for us. These guidelines might read something like this: “Compliance with the weight and balance limits for human burdens is critical for each person’s flight through life. Operating above the maximum weight limitation compromises the soul’s integrity and adversely affects human performance. Operation with the center of gravity (CG) outside the approved limits results in difficulties.”
Before going further I want to go back to Chesterton’s quote points out a very important distinction. Chesterton’s quote is often misstated. Too often what you read is “Angels fly because they take themselves lightly.” His actual quote is: “Angels can fly because they can take themselves lightly.” Notice that the word “can” is missing twice. This is a critical clarification for today’s topic of “Too Much Baggage.” The word “can” implies it is optional. Proper choice is necessary for flight.
By God’s design we are a people of free will. Life is filled with choices. We most likely have no choice about the things that become our burdens. However, we do get to choose who carries those burdens. We can choose to carry our own burdens, thereby weighing ourselves down, and preventing our soul from taking flight, or we can choose to place our burdens at the foot of the cross. Our Lord is ready and willing to shoulder our burdens. The choice is ours to make.
Psalms 55:23 states: “Cast your care upon the LORD, who will give you support. He will never allow the righteous to stumble.”
Psalms 34:18-20 states: The righteous cry out, the LORD hears and he rescues them from all their afflictions. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted, saves those whose spirit is crushed. Many are the troubles of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him from them all.
In Matthew 11:28 Jesus states: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Most of us have read these verses before, yet for some reason, we find it difficult to hand over our excess baggage to God. I know this first hand. I struggle with this too. I have stated before that the messages that I write each week are essentially a message that God wants me to pay attention to in my own life. I am simply sharing these messages with you the reader.
Recently, I have been struggling more than I should with issues related to or caused by having Multiple Sclerosis. Many things in my life were permanently changed as a result of this disease. My life was no longer heading in the direction that I had chosen. My ability to work in my career has been greatly diminished. I have lost the ability to drive. As a result of being disabled, my wife and I have been forced to make the decision to sell our dream home in the mountains and replace it with a much smaller, handicap accessible home closer to town. Finally, there are many days I must deal with the hallmark symptoms of MS which include chronic fatigue, anxiety, neuropathy, and occasional depression.
I need to do a better job of placing these things at the foot of the cross. I am not sharing my story to draw attention to myself. Each of you reading this has your own set of burdens and struggles. Have you handed yours over to God?
Do I always succeed in handing my struggles over to God…….no I don’t. When I hold onto this excess baggage, I often become even more frustrated, and I then add stress to those around me.
We must all learn to accept that God is always there for us. He is walking by our side at all times. He will never let us down. Is this easy to do….heck no…….but then who ever said that being a disciple of Jesus would be easy?
If we try to carry too much baggage, we will violate God’s safety guidelines, and our lives will be out of balance and we will risk a crash.
Permit me to close today’s message by adding my own quote to augment what Chesterton wrote about angels. I say this: “The human soul can soar if we can hand our heavy, excess baggage over to God.” Notice that pesky word can again. We have free will. We must make a choice. Let’s lay our burdens at the cross today.
Heavenly Father, I am feeling weighed down. I don’t want to crash. I am handing my baggage over to you this day. Amen
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