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Thursday, August 20, 2009

been there, dragged that

i was talking with one of my friends in student ministry this week, and we got on to the subject of being broken. feeling inadequate. having issues. being ill-suited for ministry. emptiness.
actually, it didn't take us long to get to that topic at all. i think it burped up right after "how are you?"
there isn't (at least for me) anything more humbling than being in student ministry. i wish i had the confidence of Paul, who once was one of the biggest Christian bashers around, and then found himself in some pretty major ministry work and also was the most prolific author of the new testament. that should be some encouragement, right?
we all come to the party with baggage. even if the invite didn't say, "bring your baggage," we bring it anyway. and there it sits, in plain view of everyone there. i try to pretend they're not there, but people see my bags. they just don't see inside. and since i'm pretending they're not there, i'm surely not going to tell you what's inside the bags that are not there. follow?
but they're there. and they affect the way i live, think, minister, and basically clod around life. sort of like the shackles of my past. i walk, but the bags. . . they get dragged along with everything i do.
over time, Jesus has helped me see what's in my tattered bags, and little by little i am able to unpack my sins and leave them behind. i wish i could just pack up little bits of Jesus and pack him inside my bags so i wouldn't have more room for useless souvenirs, but alas, i'm a collector like that.
but yeah, back to the party.
i'm glad that the person manning the door doesn't make me leave the party because i brought my uninvited baggage.
and thank goodness, when someone does manage to pry my bag open and holds up a soiled, crumpled garment for me to see, i don't slam the lid and ignore the fact that that was in there in the first place. or look that person right in the eye and deny that that garment belongs to me. or shrug it off and say, "yeah, that's mine. what about it?"
thanks for making me notice. and helping me to get rid of it. and thanks for not lecturing me about why i keep putting that disgusting thing back in my bag. over and over and over.
i like to think that my little travel stickers on my bags will help me be a better travel guide to the people i've been entrusted with. to help them navigate through that area and avoid some of the wrong turns i made along the way. i mean, they've got the Ultimate Compass, something i didn't grab a hold of until i was 33.
i'm a traveler with history, but hopefully with enough gathered information to be somewhat useful.
and i guess if i wasn't worried about whether or not these "bags makes me look inadequate" i wouldn't be on track at all.
in the meantime, i'm going to be making some more room for some Jesus. He's so much lighter than all this crap i keep dragging around.


  1. are so creative ( I love your post)!!!! Secondly, your sweet words are so special and I think my little ones would love to curl up on your lap and snuggle with you. Take care my sweet blog friend!

  2. This is beautiful and such an important message for me, too.

  3. most definitely does NOT make you makes you normal...
    it is impossible for me NOT to sigh EVERYTIME I see is crazy :)
    thanks for visiting my blog--hope to "see" you again soon :)

  4. The fantastic thing is that That baggage is used to make YOU fantastic! The Father values even those things that you feel that make you ugly and unsightly, because they have created you into who you are, and who you are is His Daughter :)

    Have you read "Waking the Dead" by John Eldredge? I'm 2 chapters from the end, and it's pretty good. Deals a bit w/ this topic.


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