I have a rather small journal in which I log writing ideas.  That way, if a thought hits me, I’m prepared to record it.  Well, my bag is currently so large and so full of crapola, that yesterday, I couldn’t locate the mini journal inside it.  I decided I can’t tolerate it anymore.  I absolutely must clean out the bag.  Besides, it’s time to move from the summer bag to the fall.

These are some of the items I’ve come across when I’ve taken the time to clean out the bag:

  • a bag of tortilla chips
  • dirty dishes [leftover containers from lunch]
  • my Kindle
  • my iTouch  that hasn’t been charged in a month
  • a Centre College open house invitation addressed to my son
  • a partially eaten Pound Plus Trader Joe’s dark chocolate bar
  • chords for every piece of technology I own
  • a page from the Lexington Herald Leader [now a couple weeks old]
  • a Michael’s store ad, in which I’ve already used the coupon, rendering the ad useless unless I need to start a fire
  • a bag of trail mix with only peanuts and raisins left 
  • a full size purse [yes, inside my other bag]
  • a grocery bag [you know, the kind used so you don’t waste a plastic?]
  • a Galaxy tablet [provided by my workplace; yet to be used for work]
  • jewelry supplies purchased at Michael’s 
  • hair accessories
  • a bottle of Aleve I enjoy selling at $1/pill [not really, but they are the strongest OTC med I’ve come across and I love them when I need them]
  • a regular size journal I prefer to keep in my bag [different from the mini]
  • assorted pens, lip glosses, feminine hygiene products and granola bar crumbs

My bag can be heavy and can actually make my shoulder hurt.  It can be quite awkward and cause me, at 5’1, to be off balance.  Sometimes I’d like to just chuck it into the river.  But……there’s no river in my city.  So I keep carrying it.

I long to be one of those people who carries a tiny little bag that loops around the arm.  Like one of those wallet on a string sort of things. But alas, I realize I can’t carry my Pound Plus of dark chocolate in a wallet.  Nor a Kindle or journal or grocery bag.  Any of which I just might need.

Carrying a heavy burden brings these verses to mind:

  Matthew 11:28-30

Here it is in The Message (MSG):
28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Isn’t that really cool?  Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  I would describe my {rhythms of grace} as fairly forced.

It’s hard to accept the “I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you,” though.  Right now I can think of a few situations I’m in that I could describe as ill-fitting.  Maybe that’s just my interpretation.  And it’s difficult to discern who laid them on me.  There are consequences and results of behavior.  Then there are things that happen; things we didn’t choose.  I mean, gosh, Jesus is the one who told the disciples to go into all the world……..That’s heavy.  He had dinner with them one night, died the next day, all the while asking that they be of good cheer.  That’s heavy.  So, while Jesus is beautiful and sweet and friendly, it’s sometimes hard to imagine how [light] He is.  But maybe I’m living it wrong.  Maybe I make it hard. Maybe I just need to start at the beginning of the passage.

And just keep trying.  I think as a symbolic gesture, I will actually begin making myself carry a smaller bag.  I’m going to go into my closet {my fav hiding spot}, clean out my big bag, ceremoniously throw away the trash and throw up a few prayers, and start Autumn {which begins tomorrow} off without a heavy load.  Sounds easy, right?

I’ve got a reminder song, though, to keep me in line and help me live in the unforced rhythm of grace.

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