So often I read someone urging someone else to just "drop their baggage" -- with the baggage being their job, their religious quirks, their spouse or something else the urger doesn't see, feel or hear as important.
How important is the "baggage" -- the things that we are certain that God doesn't really care about?
Laying aside the idea of a child or a spouse or a parent or a job as "baggage" -- what about God and the rules in the Old Testament? Surely God didn't really care about them, did He?
But those rules are what preserved the Children of Israel as a people and prevented them from being swallowed and assimilated. Without those rules to preserve the Jews as a peculiar people, they would have ceased to be a people.
It is easy for us to take a census, eat shrimp, use butter on our potatoes while eating steak or have some bacon for breakfast, while wearing a cotton/nylon blend and to think that anything to the contrary is just “baggage.”
But all of those prohibitions were, at one time, important to God. It was obedience as a people that made it possible for Christ to be born of Mary.
So I look at our world, our times and wonder what of the things we have that we might consider “baggage” are important like having blue threads in our hems, observing a Sabbath on Friday nights or reserving the priesthood to a family line of less than 10% of the population.
How many of the things we work with and are asked to obey work together in ways we do not understand, for purposes that we just fail to grasp, but that have meanings as significant as those had by the Macabeans who resisted the urge to drop their baggage and be one with what was the modern world of their time, and led the resistance against the Hellenic forces that sought to destroy the culture and heritage prepared for the birth of Christ?
I do not know, and I do not know the meaning of all things, but I do know that God loves his children.
BTW, for an interesting perspective on this, Someday Saint has an essay on her site: