Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Are you carrying your own bags?

"Gail and I enter a hotel carrying our suitbags and our attache cases. We're worn out, my back is sore, and I'm getting tired of traveling. A uniformed attendant comes alonside. 'Let me take those things for you,' he says. 'No,' I answer. 'We can handle them by ourselves.' As much as I'd like to give them to the young man, we do not have any cash in our pockets (only credit cards), and I'm ashamed to admit the real reason. 'You sure? I'd like to help,' he says. 'I'm sure. Thank you,' I say back.

We reach the hotel desk, register, and turn toward our rooms. 'Let the bellman bring your bags up in a little while,' The desk clerk says. 'No thanks,' I respond, again ashamed to admit that I'm short on tipping change. 'Please let him do it,' she says. 'All the gratuities are added to your bill anyway. You don't have to tip him.' Has she read my mind? Have I carried these bags for fifty yards when someone was there, already paid in effect, to handle them for me? I have the brain of a bird.

Carrying bags when someone is there, paid to carry them for me, is almost as incomprehensible as carrying baggage from the past, be it unresolved relationships, unaddressed guilt, or untreated pain, when Someone has already paid to lift it off me. And that's exactly what happened at the Cross. As the hymn writer put it so well:  'Jesus paid it all.'"

--Gordon MacDonald, Rebuilding Your Broken World, p139.

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