There is good baggage and there is unnecessary or even bad baggage, unhelpful baggage.
A child is open to learning, to discover, to new things. They are fascinated by a new discovery, the magic of lie.
We pick up good and bad experiences. As children we learn from the adults around us. Everything that we have experienced is registered in our memory. Even things that we do not remember are still influencing us, our feelings and behaviour.
I often refer to the words of Jesus when I celebrate Baptisms. “Unless you become like a little child you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Jesus also spoke about the need of being born again when he spoke to Nicodemus.
At these Baptisms I often refer to an example to illustrate this.
Imagine a person about to go for a swim. They put on a heavy coat over all their clothes. They put on heavy boots. They put a chain and metal ball around their ankles. They put lead in their pockets and a chain around their waist.
Then, they jump into the water. Of course, they will sink!
When we carry fears, self-doubt, guilt, low self-image, false values, etc., we are like that man.
Jesus cam to liberate us from all this!
“I have come to bring liberty to captives, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour”.
“I did not come to squash bruised reeds”.
Jesus is the great liberator to help us let go of our excess baggage!
There is excess baggage that we can name and baggage that we cannot name.
Meditative prayer, surrendering all to God in faith, trusting in the promises of Jesus, can set us free.
It is not something that we do just once. We need to keep renewing this loving and trusting surrender every day.
“Take up your cross every day and follow me.”
Jesus is our truth and the truth sets us free.