Don't Claim Baggage Pain
Frequent flyer miles, checking baggage, dodging folks, and darting through crowds not to miss a flight are the mundane happenings of airport life. Once travelers arrive at their destination, they wait for baggage. It can be a taxing event on the body and especially on the emotions.
When bags aren’t waiting, travelers become indignant because they have no baggage to carry. Granted, the baggage may include needed items. But, if we look at the disfigured facial features of people while they are hauling, checking, and claiming luggage, you’d think losing the load might be a good thing. But that’s not the real world. Our baggage contains items that identify us in some way. We are emotionally attached to baggage and react when bags disappear. It’s almost like e-mail without the attachment. I call our need to carry around something, "B.A.G.G.A.G.E ."
What is B.A.G.G.A.G.E.? It is Burdens Attached Grievously, Gradually And Given Egregiously.
Life sometimes resembles airport hustle and bustle. We become frequent flyers who shuffle and scramble through life’s gates looking for missing emotional baggage that should remain lost. If we can’t find the precious items, we feel naked. Unfortunately, people who carry heavy emotional baggage don’t realize it’s there until someone tries to cut off the load.
We are happily married to our B.A.G.G.A.G.E. Although it grieves us to carry it, we sometimes give it away to others egregiously. To give this way is a bad mistake. When the symptoms of baggage pain show up in relationships, ugly events happen to people. Burdens given grievously do nothing but hurt the owner and the receiver. Like in an airport, the claim checker receives the brunt of the anger for baggage gone astray. So it is in relationships; the person carrying B.A.G.G.A.G.E hurts the one closest to him or her.
In the marketplace of relationships, men and women sometimes carry dead baggage from days gone by. They fly from relationship to relationship like a human jetliner with the belly of their souls stuffed with molestation, divorce, financial ruin, regret, abuse and many issues relived on the reel-to-reel screen of their minds. Some call this baggage “soul ties.” The knot of past baggage eventually warps self-esteem and confidence.
Others feel naked if they allow what is so obviously dangerous to be ripped from their identity like a limb torn from a body. It’s called yesterday’s baggage. Can you feel the heaviness now? Baggage that stands like a constant pillar internally must be torn down by the wrecking ball of God’s truth. Baggage is a prop that serves as substitute for intimacy and prevents us from adopting the rules of engagement for life. If we disengage from life, baggage will define who we are and will stop us from considering the positive advantages of losing raggedy baggage. Instead, we spend precious time looking for the past and keep it tied on our lives like backpacks. We wear it like cheap costume jewelry on our finger.
Some need baggage to fake it and make it. With our claimed pain, we morph into another person and become a changeling. You say, “What’s a changeling?” It’s a Star Trek alien who can appear in different forms when necessary. For example, pain, anger and joy can transform who we are from the inside out. If life’s circumstances can define us, then the experiences can change us. One minute we’re having a good time dancing to the music of life, then suddenly we come out the box and attack because something triggered a nerve because a piece of our baggage went missing and set off a roadside bomb from our past.
Too many relationships turn out like song from the Carol Burnett show: “I’m so glad we had this time together. Just to have a laugh or sing a song; seems we just get started and before you know it, comes the time we have to say so long.” We dive into a thirty-minute commitment for sex, then say good-bye and off we go into another relationship, pouring hurt into innocent people. This is the baggage of a disastrous relationship. So get the junk out of the trunk of your life.
There was a time I wouldn’t admit I carried Burdens Attached Grievously, Gradually And Given Egregiously around my mind like a precious emerald. I held onto my baggage claim ticket of yesterday’s vexing pain. I had my red wagon stacked and piled high with rotting junk. I pulled and carried the wagon pain for years. At times, when incidents arose, my baggage became defense mechanisms at my disposal to camouflage myself and my pain from whomever I thought were predators. B.A.G.G.A.G.E destroyed my ability to connect on an emotional level. It created static in my communication with women. But I learned not to claim baggage pain. I learned to eliminate it.
Dump the junk out of your wagon. Instead of destroying a possible God-ordained relationship, take disappointment as an opportunity for appointment. Turn despair into repair. Flip distraction into action. Grab discord and get in accord with your mate. Come out of doubt into clout. Don’t stay in delay but pray. Use belief and drop disbelief. Empty dullness and fill up with His fullness.
If you just want some baggage for baggage’s sake, at least carry some that’s going to strengthen you. Here’s what Jesus says about baggage in Mathew 11: 28-30: "Come, unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (KJV)."
Get rid of your B.A.G.G.A.G.E and take His yoke. He’s not heavy, He’s your brother. So, look on the light side—He will carry you.
About The Author - Frank Chase, Jr.
Frank Chase, Jr. earned a BA degree in Communications and a minor in Sociology. He served in the United States Army and is now a minister at Emmanuel Church International in Decatur, Alabama.
As a lay minister, Frank has served as a teacher, counselor, mentor and leader in various men's ministries. He has authored and published numerous religious and relationship articles for newspapers, online magazines and print media, and has appeared as a reoccurring guest on many television and radio programs.
For more information about Frank Chase, Jr., visit: www.fcpublishing.com