The other morning served to make me question why I have a dog who obviously has no sense of what sub-zero wind chill means! My teeth were chattering as my faithful hound Xena and I trudged uphill through ankle-deep drifting snow! She was majestically strutting headfirst into the gusting wind, her long ears flapping out to the sides of her head. I was on the edge of hypothermia and she was prancing in all of her glory!
I could see the frost beginning to build up on her muzzle. My moustache was not faring much better; icicles beginning to dangle from the whiskers. The only thing we were missing was a sled for my canine companion to pull; while I rode under a pile of toasty blankets, mushing her through the frozen tundra of our neighborhood.
In the very first light of the early morning, I was able to make out a heavily clothed figure bent over the trunk of an automobile. While Xena paused to submarine her face into a snow bank, I observed the person across the street. I was able to see that he was placing items into the trunk of his small sedan. First came a children’s stroller, followed by a booster chair, that was then followed by an enormous folding crib. Apparently somebody was going to Grandma and Grandpa’s for the weekend!
As Xena started to tug me back in the direction of our hearth and home; I looked over my shoulder at the car on the icy driveway. The owner had pulled almost everything back into the garage; and they were now in the process of repacking the trunk! Apparently not all of the items had fit into the trunk on the first attempt. Now this person found themselves trying to solve the puzzle of stowing all of the toddler’s belongings anew!
Two cups of steamy coffee later, I was relatively certain that I had regained feeling in all of my extremities. Xena had destroyed a couple of dental doggie treats, and was now sprawled out at the base of the stairs. I thought back on the parka-clad stranger that I had observed just minutes earlier. For a moment, I reminisced about the challenges of packing up my own daughters when they had been much younger. I always managed to get everything loaded on the first try! Then again, I owned a mini van at the time!
In all aspects of my life, I have a tendency to lean towards the Spartan philosophy. Rarely do I consider including more than the bare necessities in my life endeavors. The same thought holds true in packing for trips. Why bring more than I absolutely have to? My wife is always amazed at how quickly I can pack for a business trip. It is virtually effortless when you limit the number of items that you bring along! If you travel light, you always travel happy! Besides, if you did not pack an item that you suddenly need; the concierge is more than willing to have it bought and delivered to your room.
In some way, shape, or manner; each of us is on an automobile journey on the highway called life. We pack those things that we feel will be needed during the duration of the excursion. The problem is that sometimes our luggage becomes baggage. We forget that items can be taken out of the trunk as easily as they can be put in. We go through life weighed down by those things that are no longer necessary.
Imagine that luggage is all that is good and important in your life. Baggage, on the other hand, is made up of bad memories, bitter disappointments, unexpected let downs, and all sorts of betrayals and ill feelings. Once these pieces of negative baggage are packed away in the trunk; it is easy to forget they are there, that is until you try to put a piece of positive luggage in the same trunk. Either you give up or you have to try to repack the entire trunk before you can continue your journey. It never strikes you to simply remove the baggage!
Before you take the next leg of your life’s journey; consider completely emptying the trunk of all baggage you have been carrying for years! If you find yourself in need, you can always buy the luggage you need to continue the journey. Can it be frightful to go through life with nothing to hold you back? Yes! Is it a test of faith to believe your needs will somehow be fulfilled in the future? Definitely! Are we skeptical of the notion that everything in our life can be positive? Absolutely!
Look at it this way. If the trunk is void of all that is negative; then it is wide open for as much positive as you can stuff into it. Hey, it worked for the Spartans!