Checked baggage and the freedom of forgiveness

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I love to fly. In airplanes. This isn’t a sci-fi post today.

I always get the window seat. Obviously, I have a strong bladder, otherwise the window seat would be a bad idea. Watching teeny cars inch along the twisting threads that used to be roads is just as fascinating to me as it was during my first flight as a kid. To me, spending a day in the sky is pure adventure. When I grow up, I hope to get my pilot’s license so I can go anywhere, anytime. Anytime I have the money for fuel, I suppose.

There are things I don’t love about flying, like smacking every seated passenger with my carry on as I squeeze through the plane’s narrow aisle. Being 5’ 2”, I dread getting my bag in and out of the overhead compartment. I mean, I love to overhead press a bag within the 30 lb airline regulations as much as the next fitness enthusiast, but feeling like my awkward luggage may careen out of the compartment and straight into my face is not my favorite. I don’t really mind TSA, waiting in line, or keeping my seat belt securely fastened, so it seems that the biggest disadvantage to flying is the baggage. At least as far as I am concerned. (I also hate the baggage part before the flight. I’m a pack-crastinator.)

Can you guess our destination? Yeah, baggage in life is a huge disadvantage.

Everyone has some. Call it mistakes, regrets, or your entire past, baggage weighs you down and limits your freedom. Jesus calls our baggage ‘sin’. It’s a churchy word, but most people know what sins are and they know they’re guilty of a few, or more. When Jesus healed the physical bodies of people during His time on earth, He also healed their hearts by forgiving their sin. He took their baggage. He didn’t just forgive them from the weight of past failures, He took their junk, told them to leave it behind and go forward in freedom. They were saved from burdensome regrets and forgiven into the freedom to start over. Jesus did the same for me and He’s willing to do it for you.

The forgiveness of Jesus is the only kind that clears guilt and once guilt is gone, forgiving yourself can begin. Your backpack of shame is no longer heavy on your back. It’s no longer accidentally landing on anyone’s lap. It’s checked baggage. And guess what? You can leave it behind.

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