Dad's memorial in 2009.
I may have mentioned this before, but years ago at a funeral, I heard a minister ask if our bags were packed. "Are you ready to meet our Lord?"
This afternoon, I was thinking about our individual suitcases. Some of us have the best that money can buy, but if a person were to peek inside, it would surprise them how very little there is inside.. Their sole purpose for owning such a piece of luggage is to show their affluence and to impress others by the designer label.
Remember the Samsonite Commercial years ago? Where that big gorilla jumped up and down and tortured that suitcase something fierce? The premise was that nothing could destroy a Samsonite Suitcase.
There are other individuals who over-pack their suitcases with "contingency" clothes and plans. Feverishly planning for all the changes in the weather; their suitcases get so full of worry and planning that they have to "sit" on the lid just to get the zipper to close.
I think that I have been all of the above. I "over-pack" my suitcases for my short trips to see family or friends. I was once dazzled by the designer labels and envious of those who seemed to have it all.
I have been caught sprinting in an undignified fashion while desperately trying to hold on to all of my "necessary stuff". My back and neck have suffered grievous harm because of my vanity.
I don't think I have quite achieved the "Samsonite" toughness to weather all of life's trials and tribulations. But I have, however, been able to eliminate the weight of the world from time to time.
Whether your suitcase is filled with optimism or sorrow; past hurts or joyous memories, we all have baggage of some sort.
All of us have been privileged to "pack" our bags for our life's journey. Our choices in life may weigh us down or impede our progress to the correct gate. We may choose the "designer look" but have very little to show for all the glamor that others see on the outside.
We may or may not have a "Samsonite" suitcase that has protected us from careless bellboys or luggage handlers.
What we do have, as all Americans do, is Freedom. We are free to choose the style of our suitcases and the contents therein. We are free to change our minds about what we actually need for our journey in life.
We are free to share all that we hold dear by Free Speech.
I recently purchased a "huge" suitcase that you could pack a large dog in comfortably. Why? Because, every trip that I have taken the past few years, I end up with gifts to carry back with me from the people who love me.
I take nothing for granted as I get older. I want my life to reflect all of the love that has been given to my by those who have crossed my path or walked with me for a little while.
I want to know that my suitcase is filled with the gift of generosity, not a miserly or sly promise of a designer label.
Our treasures in life may not be packed in a suitcase, but ask yourself as you wait in line at the baggage claim, "Is my suitcase going to survive the journey? Will I recognize it amongst the other "basic black" bags as they appear at the top of the carousel?
Some of us have been experiencing the buffetings of a very angry gorilla lately. It seems as though we can't make a move without getting some type of ill-treatment. We might be tough enough for the short-haul--but the Real manufacturer of our "Samsonite's" will not only keep us safe, but He will protect our hearts too.
Those pesky last words in writing a blog are always the hardest for me. I struggle with the closing far more that I do with the concept of what needs to be written.
As long as I am able, I will continue to inventory the contents of my suitcase. I won't expect everyone to purchase the brand that I have, nor will I lecture anyone on what they need to pack.
Have a great week everyone!