Throughout my life I’ve had to travel a lot. I’ve watched how people travel and it’s helped me to understand something about myself.
On a recent flight a woman was having trouble stowing her bag in the overhead compartment. This happened right in front of me and I didn’t do anything to help her. I was afraid to. I was ashamed of my behavior and this caused me to really think about why I didn’t help that woman.
I think that we are all travelers no matter how far we go. Our suitcases, briefcases and back packs are only part of our luggage. We all carry a kind of personal luggage. Everyday we pack up and carry our hopes, fears and dreams with us everywhere we go. We pack them up the best we can and hope that we’ll have enough strength to carry them throughout the day. Which bags we choose, what we put in them and on them, and how we carry them says a lot about us whether we want it to or not.
I believe we all have the ability to see some of the personal luggage that our fellow travelers are carrying if we take the time to look. When I look, I see people all around me struggling with lots of luggage too much of which looks old, worn out and really heavy. This makes me sad.
I believe that deep down, we all want help carrying our bags whether we ask for it or not. Yet, for me, a fear of failure is the barrier that often prevents me from following my heart and helping someone when they need it.
I’m fearless with permission; that is if you ask me for help. I’m also fearless when my help is cloaked by others like when it’s part of a group effort. But when it’s all me I sometimes fail to have the courage to follow my heart.
Deep down I want to reach out and help others because when I see the relief on people’s faces when they have accepted my help it gives me a glimpse of what I hope eternity will be like. Yet my fear is what I imagine their look will be if my help is not enough; a fear that those bags will be too heavy for me as well.
Psalm 19-12 says in part “Forgive my hidden faults”. One of my many hidden faults is letting my imagination keep me from doing what my heart tells me brings me closer to God. So, starting with this crowded summer travel season I plan to doff my symbolic red cap and try and serve others the best I can whether they ring for me or not.
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