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Leave the baggage at the gate

8/16/2013

More than $1,000 -- that's how much it was going to cost one airline passenger to check his luggage. Rather than pay the fee, he left four of his seven bags at the airport. This passenger definitely was not traveling light.

More than $1,000 -- that's how much it was going to cost one airline passenger to check his luggage. Rather than pay the fee, he left four of his seven bags at the airport. This passenger definitely was not traveling light.

Someone estimated one or more of his bags had to weigh more than 100 pounds for him to incur such a fee. That might sound like a lot, but I'm sure I loaded bags that heavy into our minivan on some of our family vacations. I believe it can happen.

I think there is a lesson about faith to be learned from the example of the man who left his bags at the airport.

The first point that can be made is that faith is about travel. Take Abraham as an example. Abraham travels to the Promised Land in response to God's call. He doesn't even know where to go exactly. He just goes. One professor of mine used to say Abraham walked right off the map in answer to God's call. Abraham is held up as a prime example of faith. He is spoken of as the father of the faithful. Abraham trusted God to provide and followed.

Like Abraham, the person of faith travels forward, toward the home God has promised. The person of faith is a pilgrim. There is no sitting still. There is no settling down in this world. There is no lasting home in this world.

The person of faith is on her way to her true home in heaven. He trusts God to provide for him along the way.

Therefore, the Christian faith involves detachment. We don't want to become so attached to our possessions that they weigh us down on our journey of faith. We don't want to settle down in this world and stop moving toward the Promised Land of Heaven. We don't want to miss arriving at our destination for love of things. Too much focus on earthly things could cause us to forget our heavenly destination.

When it impedes our progress, we leave the baggage at the gate. We are able to detach from our baggage when we truly trust God to provide.

Deacon Scott Watford is pastoral associate St. Nicholas of Myra Catholic Church, Hays.