Excess Baggage 

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Photo by Gretchen Engel


I had an experience this past week that had great spiritual parallels. I made my reservations for Realm Makers last month. However, if I hadn’t happen to see a newspaper article, I might have missed the entire conference. We live in a small town that only has an airline because of a federal program that requires an airline to service our area. Airlines bid to cover these routes. The contract on Airline 1 ran out and as of August 1 Airline 2 is the new carrier. I booked my ticket through an online travel company who didn’t address this change.

However, I was able to purchase a ticket on Airline 2. Not so different from how God prompts us to follow him. Whether it’s the path to salvation or just listening to the Holy Spirit guiding us to make the right decision. I “happened” to read this article in time to make a new reservation.

But that wasn’t the only lesson I learned. Airline 2 has smaller aircraft and limits the passengers to one carry on and one personal item. The Realm Makers conference has a costume dinner and a Nerf war. Not to mention that I’m tacking on a business trip. So here I am with Nerf guns, fairy wings, dress pants, and dress shoes as well as my Converse and ironic t-shirts (the spec fiction writer’s uniform).

Not only did I have to scramble to find a flight for the first leg of my journey, I also couldn’t take my gigantic suitcase that often barely dodges an overweight fee. Now I have to cut my essentials down to fit inside a carry on bag. And it’s all or nothing. If my bag is too big or heavy, it can’t come.

Isn’t that like life? We’re so reluctant to let go of all we carry with us. It made me think of how I travel versus how I live my life. I’m notorious for over-packing with a whole lot of “just in case” items but pride myself on traveling light in the “baggage” department. But is that really true? Yes, I don’t have an entire set of suitcases filled with skeletons, but I do have a whole lot of “just in case” excuses that I carry through life.

I’m thankful for this little life lesson. I’m also thankful that somehow I was able to pack nearly everything I had in the large suitcase into the carry on. That includes the Nerf gun, vest, and fairy wings. And no I didn’t leave out the khakis and wingtips to do this.

The best part – I’m going to Realm Makers! Where I’m going to get to see my fellow NAF contributors.

About Gretchen E K Engel

Chemical engineer by day, spec fiction writer by night

4 comments on “Excess Baggage 

  1. Great message, Gretchen. So many things and practices we cling to.

    Looking forward to seeing everyone!

  2. Great post,shared spiritual life lessons are a gift. I’ve been praying today to put down all and to choose what pleases God, not my ego. Some re-packing required. 🙂 Thank you!

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