Being somewhere new and exciting is one of life’s great pleasures for me.  Having traveled in several countries, experiencing different cultures and societies over the years has taught me to travel light, a discipline I did not always practice.   I remember arriving in Xi’an, China in 2002 with an oversized suitcase, guitar, and very large backpack­­–everything I needed and MUCH more.  The school I was planning to work for failed to pick me up at the train station, so, there I was, looking as foreign as I could possibly be.  After two flights totaling 19 hours, followed by a 12-hour train ride, I found myself trying to maneuver through a sea of Chinese people, fatigue and concern setting in.  Thank God for a young English speaking Chinese man who approached me asking if I needed assistance!  As he helped me to the taxi, he asked, “why do you have so many things with you?”  I can almost feel the exhaustion remembering those words. I arrived at my destination with all of my “things” in tow, but I learned something over the next few days.  A large percentage of what I took to China was not unnecessary!

Often we lug around extra baggage.  We are living in a time where we need to be intensely aware and agile.  The enemy would love to see you weighed down in 2017.  Today I ask you, “why are you carrying so many things with you?”   Commit to avoid carrying extra weight such as bitterness, anger, resentment, doubt, and fear this year, giving additional time and energy to focus on enjoying our relationship with Christ and carrying His beautiful Gospel into this broken world.  

Ask God to reveal to you unnecessary weight.   Follow up by asking Him to help you to let go of those burdens today. 

Matthew 11:29-30 (NLT) - 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

- Rich Whitter