The Parable of the Weary Traveler and Her Heavy Bag

“Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.” ~ Acts 10:43


It seemed just like yesterday that Matt snagged up last-minute travel deal

own it. but for god's sake stop carrying it around.

I’m always at my best when packing light. One bag for on the fly is usually all I need. And it feels good, because it’s not HEAVY.

straight from his inbox. Four days and three nights in Cozumel for cheap. Now it was quickly coming to an end, and all that remained was the logistics of a two-hour international flight home.

Passports, customs, what to declare. So many rules after so much fun.

Always on the lookout to break the daily grind, Matt and his free-spirited wife Chase, were prone to such whimsical adventures simply because they loved the unexpected.

Airport veterans, they now stood in the baggage check line some  70 frequent flyers deep among the back and forth rows of weary, but tanned and rested travelers.

Chase took note of a prominent sign just ahead that read:

“Cell Phone Use is FORBIDDEN in this line.”

It is Forbidden!

They shared a quick laugh and a couple of Soup Nazi jokes, and moved three steps ahead.


own it but for god's sake stop carrying it aroundOne young traveler about 30 up in line somehow stood out and caught Matt and Chase’s attention. An early 20-something with long blonde hair and an athletic build, she was toting about all she could handle. Two standard carry-ons and two bags for check-in. One of the check-in bags was quite large.

The young traveler seemed anxious as she approached a scale midway through the line – a scale permitting passengers to weigh their bags in advance of the counter. If a bag exceeded a certain weight limit, she’d have to pay extra.

With each shuffle step forward the young traveler scooted her bags ever so closer to the scale – her Moment of Truth.

A few minutes later she stood before the scale, and the dread was evident in her eyes.

Sure enough, one particularly large bag exceeded the limit. It was packed way too heavy.

The young traveler obviously owned a lot of stuff, and moreover, she’d picked up some additional keepsakes in Cozumel. So she had to pack those things too, on top of everything she already owned just to get it all home safely.

Matt and Chase were now focused on the young traveler to see what she’d do next.

steven w watkins

Appropriately unfocused and blurry, that’s exactly how I feel when I carry around too much baggage. Bogged down, and heavy.

Most of what the young traveler owned appeared quite frivilous  and unnecessary to live life comfortably while traveling on the fly. But because she owned so many things, she felt obliged to carry them around. Everywhere. Everywhere she went. And the things she carried were heavy and most burdensome beyond any benefit they provided.


Flinging the overpacked bag off the scale, the young traveler went on a frenzy. Unzipping this bag and that, shuffling swim suits and curling irons from one bag to the next. To avoid the weight limit penalty she’d have to distribute all she owned more evenly amongst all the baggage.

With any degree of success she’d still have to carry it all, but to get past this checkpoint, this hurdle, this moment, she had to redistribute and better compartmentalize.

So she repacked the baggage and placed the big bag on the scale once again.

Still too heavy.  Try again. Repack once more.

People behind her are waiting, and now she’s become the focus of everyone’s attention. Everyone wonders if the young traveler can manipulate everything she owns to get past the checkpoint without penalty.

She repacks. Underwear and dirty laundry fly. Literally. Others are now telling her how to shift things around. Everyone’s pulling for the young traveler. Put this here, put that there, they say. She’s almost oblivious and inwardly focused now. At all costs, she does not want to pay that penalty.

Restuff, rezip. It’s all back in. Another faceoff with The Moment of Truth. The scale reads 47 pounds. Proceed and move on. You’ve done it. This time.

All the young traveler owns is now properly packed for the moment – more evenly distributed to get past the checkpoint. The Moment of  Truth permitted her to pass in this circumstance. This time.

Funny thing though. Properly redistributed as her belongings may now be … it’s all just as heavy as it was before. Everything still weighs exactly what it weighed before. And it’s still heavy.


Today, whatever you’ve done, whatever burdens you may carry, no matter how heavy they may be – own them. For all that you’ve done, own it.

But for God‘s Sake, stop carrying it all around.

Stop it. Don’t do it anymore.



Related posts:

Own It.

The Parable of the Enlightened Christian

Why Are You So Aggressive…

6 thoughts on “The Parable of the Weary Traveler and Her Heavy Bag

  1. The best point, and most ironic, is that she’s still putting the same weight on the plane but not paying for it. Stupid airlines. Hehe

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