Tue11252014

Spiritual Life

Travel light: Are we carrying excess baggage on journey?

“He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick – no food, no sack, no money in their belts.” (Mark 6:8)

Take nothing for the journey? In this day and age, such instruction does not apply anymore. Well, at least not in my case. When I travel, I always make sure that I maximize the baggage weight allowed both for check-ins and hand-carry. I bring a lot of stuff with me because I go by the rule “Just in case I need it.”

No wonder friends won’t invite me to go backpacking with them – they know I don’t travel light. But traveling with lots of baggage is very uncomfortable. There is this anxiety within: thinking of the condition of my bags, hoping that nothing is stolen, missing or broken inside the luggage. Not to mention the security check. So instead of enjoying the trip, I am preoccupied and worried about my things.

Our journey in life is much like our experiences traveling. We tend to carry excess baggage, “just in case” we need the extra items. That makes us uncomfortable, especially when the baggage slows us down in our journey.

“Take nothing for the journey.” We are pilgrims in this world on a journey back to our true Home. In this journey, maybe we ask ourselves: Are we carrying excess baggage? We are people preoccupied with many things that hinder us from seeing the essentials in life.

Traveling simply and light, the disciples were able to focus more on their mission, not tending to their baggage. By setting aside our own personal comfort and interests, we become more in depth in responding to the needs of others.

In this generation marked with excess and a technocratic mentality, there is indeed a call for us to live our life with the virtues of simplicity and a complete trust in God’s generosity. Trust is the cure for worry. We really have nothing to worry about, because God is worthy of our trust. Rather than teaching us to be self-sufficient, Jesus wants us to learn that only God is truly sufficient.

As we continue our journey, let go and let God. Certainly, we will discover true joy and experience inner peace. Let us not forget that the only luggage that we must carry in life and as we leave this world is the luggage of love, forgiveness and charity.

And in our trip of going back home to God, excess baggage is not allowed – only our love, faith and trust in God.

The Rev. Mark Gazzingan is parochial vicar at St. Simon’s Catholic Church, 1860 Grant Road, Los Altos. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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