The gate agent helped the passenger with the large bag as she struggled to have it weighed and checked in for her flight. “I’m sorry. This bag exceeds the weight limit. There will be an extra fee to check it through.” The passenger then had two choices: pay the extra fee or repack the bag and make it lighter.

It reminded me that the Bible has instructions for our walk through life. Hebrews 12 follows a long list of faith heroes in the previous chapter and then reminds us that “we are to throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles ...” to run the race before us.

Very seldom do you see a runner winning a race while carrying a large load of baggage. Instead, you see the lightest clothing and shoes so that the competitor is free to run his fastest.

The question for most of us is, why am I carrying this life baggage with me? Often in counseling, a person will discover that he continues to hear an old message. Some refer to this as the life recording or tape made up of the things we heard as we grew up as children. “You’ll never amount to much!” Those words become condemning baggage as one struggles to succeed.

A failure in the past can crush the hope of a future success. The memory I carry — or the reminders I receive from others — can become emotional baggage I drag through life.

Some carry baggage filled with “secrets” no one else knows and a lot of energy is wasted protecting what I fear when others know they will reject me. That mask becomes a hindrance. Throw it off! My “sins” become entrapments I need to drop off, so that I can run the life race more competitively.

So, what’s in your excess baggage? Do you really need to drag it along with you? Here is a liberating word: “…throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles …” and run!

Let 2020 be your “personal best” as you run the race of life. Don’t let that extra baggage hinder, entrap, or cost you as you go!

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Dr. James E Kilgore retired as President of the International Family Foundation and lives in Canton. His most recent book, LIVING WITHOUT LIMITS, was published in late 2019 and is available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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