[forthright] Weighing for the Trip

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From: "Forthright Magazine" <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2008 10:45:31 -0300
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COLUMN: FINAL PHASE

Weighing for the Trip
  by J. Randal Matheny

Airlines have lowered their baggage weight limits and
tightened their restrictions. Whenever we return to
Brazil after weeks in the U.S., we usually take back
clothing, gifts and even a small piece of home or
office equipment at times.

These days, however, it's harder to take back much more
than the essentials. As my wife packed the bags for our
return from our last trip, she weighed the individual
items before packing them, so we'd not have to
redistribute them when the bags exceeded their weight
limit. The system worked well.

Perhaps we need to do the same in our spiritual
journey.

As we take our flight toward eternity, it would do us
well to take a measure of what we carry with us.


Permitted Weights

On this flight, only the weighter items are permitted.

Such as the weightier matters, justice and mercy and
faithfulness, that Jesus listed in Matthew 23:23.

Of course, in this sense, "weightier" means "more
important." Those things that matter most, that give
sense to the details of mint and dill and cumin.


Forbidden Weights

On the other hand, there are some weights that won't
make it when we present ourselves for the final flight.

The cares of this world will keep you from flying: "But
watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with
dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and
that day come upon you suddenly like a trap" (Luke
21:34 ESV).

Not just worry about to-do lists weigh a person down.
Lack of self-control -- giving oneself to loose living
--, while on the surface appearing as the carefree
life, is actually a heavy burden to bear.

And the writer of Hebrews in 12:1 mentioned others:
"let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which
clings so closely."

Under the figure of running a race -- another activity
where lightness is important --, any weight that gets
in your way of finishing must be thrown aside. Sin is a
tripper-upper. Or in our flight metaphor, a red flag
that will get you pulled out of the boarding line, so
it has no place in your baggage either.


Type of Poundage

On the spiritual journey toward heaven, then, it would
appear that not the weight but the nature of the
poundage is what really matters.

Pile in the good and right and just and holy. These are
waved through with a smile.

Don't even think of trying to hide sin and hate and
care and vice under your shirts and slacks. These
trigger the celestial x-rays every time.

What weights are you packing?

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