Lay Down Old Luggage

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Old luggage weighing you down? Drop it, and run free!

Old luggage weighing you down? Drop it, and run free!

Part Three of the Lockout Series

It’s spring so perhaps you’ve been tidying up as we have in the corners that grow stacks like bunnies and need a fresh approach. It’s a continual struggle for me, this rearming, refocusing, and getting rid of things. I’ve spent time recently sorting out, yet more to go, but I don’t want to miss an opportunity because I’m holding onto something it’s time to part with, and hopefully help someone else along the way.

I once heard a speaker talking about the best ways to help others. He described how impossible it is to run fast in a race when holding bulky luggage. That image has remained and been so true in our lives.

People will tell you when you lose everything as we did after the wildfires swept through, that it’s just “stuff.” And indeed, things are not as important as people. We were grateful to escape the flames without harm. But some of the things we lost that day represented special memories with family, or a talented Aunt who painted, or years of history wrapped in a book or piece of silver. To me things lost represented a precious moment and it took time to heal from having those ripped away. Yet in losing everything, I became more open to receiving a new gift of not making things quite so important.

It made me strive for living a bit lighter, in every sense.

How to live open-handed

That same speaker who discussed not being able to run holding heavy luggage, asked us to open our hands, palm up. Then to pray and give things up that we shouldn’t be holding any longer, that were holding us back. It’s a powerful image, the open hand. It means living with heart’s hope first rather than stuff first. By heart’s hope, I mean determining to focus on how you wish to live and goals you want to achieve rather than continually wading through either old memories or old things that keep you from running free.

What does it take to run free?

When we were in Hawaii this Christmas, we visited an end-of-the-road beach where there were perhaps 30 parking places and miles of beach beneath green forested mountainous terrain. The wind whipped my hair as we hiked around a corner and as far as I could see, it was clear blue waves. No one else was there except us. For a brief moment, I found wild beauty in front of me. I felt so uninhibited and reveled in the pure magnificence. It was difficult to describe for a while, too. Unfettered beauty does that.

But we had no chairs or bulky equipment. We certainly had no luggage with us there. It was just us digging in the sand and walking along watching huge waves crash against the volcanic rocks and golden sand.

That moment sums up how I long to live. Unfettered. Released. In freedom.

It’s a struggle here at home, away from the island. But I encourage you to look in the scary closets teetering with fullness, both in reality and in any damaged corners of your heart, and ask for wisdom about cleaning out to make room for unfettered joy and beauty.

Know that you are not alone, and certainly, it is worth the endeavor to lay it down and walk into greater freedom this day.

Photo by Witthaya Phonsawat courtesy of

One Response to "Lay Down Old Luggage"
  1. evantassel says:

    Reblogged this on Elizabeth Van Tassel and commented:

    I was thinking about freedom in honor of the Fourth of July, and am re-blogging this today with hope that you’ll have less luggage and more personal freedom this holiday.

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