Pack Lightly

“I just don’t have room in my heart for anger anymore.”

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whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. —Phil 4:8

Do not give place in your hearts to anger, malice, fear or perversions, the more of that you have in your hearts the less room there is for what is good, and your mouth will speak from the over flow of your heart and you will become a vessel of decay rather than a vessel of his love.

You can only be a holy vessel, a holy warrior, if you are striving to keep the bad out and the good in.

I decided a while ago that it is too much work to hold grudges, to promote boycotts and stir up anger. Even poised as righteous indignation, it just leaves me feeling yucky and unloving. I want to speak life, no one ever turned to the light because they got hit over the head with a flashlight. I just don’t have room in my heart for anger anymore.

What is your heart full of? Listen to yourself talk—that will be a good indicator. The mouth brings forth what the heart is full of.

Reminds me of the murmurings of the tribes of Israel as Moses was leading them out of Egypt, they were always muttering against Moses, against the Lord—complaining and cursing.

24 And the people murmured against Moses, Ex 15 KJV

There is only room in your heart for so much, or, maybe that is better stated, you can only carry so much and still get where you want to go.IMG_1503

Pack lightly

Back when I was younger and had good knees and my time was my own, I did a lot of backpacking in the high country—up where the trails are steep and the air is thin. One thing I learned pretty quickly is that every pound, every ounce, of weight that you put in your pack or strap to your belt must be carefully considered as to its value to your expedition. Because, after you have carried it up a mountain—or six, you will start to seriously reevaluate whether it was worth packing.

As the miles walked and the altitude gained start to multiply so does the weight, exponentially. A six pack of beer and canned chili are not wise items to pack into a mountain lake—especially with a huge sleeping bag and an oversized tent and a hangover. I know, I did it, the first time I hiked into Twin Lakes at the top of Beartooth Pass.

After a few years of backpacking experience and losing the consuming mass quantities of beer habit, I learned to pare a lot of weight off my back. I invested in a down mummy bag, a durable lightweight pup tent. I learned how to pack food that was nutritious and lightweight, replaced the beer with tea bags—everything was carefully considered—”do I need this for survival or is it just a luxury? Will this enhance the experience or is it not worth the misery of carrying it in?”

I would weigh my backpack before every trip and if it was over thirty pounds something had to go. The essentials were things that kept me dry, warm and fed and the rest was negotiable—save for my fishing pole, camera and pistol—those were essential. I always carried a pocket size bible and a journal as well because God often met me in the mountains—which became a big part of the reason for going.

But what I’m getting at here is this—we need to learn to decipher what is worth carrying in our hearts and what is not worth the grief it causes on the journey. If you are carrying around anger, jealousy, anxiety, sorrow, addictions—whatever, there is something else more important and desirable that will have to get shoved down into the bottom of the pack or left behind all together—then when you stop and open up your pack to help a fellow hiker who might have run out of bug repellant or desperately needs a drink of water, you are going to have to search around the bags of cow manure you are hauling and the person is going to say—ah, thanks but I don’t think you have what I need.

“Oh wait, here it is!” No really I’m good, the mosquitos keep me moving and I’m really not that thirsty after all. What they are really saying is—I saw all the other cow puckey you have in there—I don’t want anything that came out of the same pack that is in!

If your heart is so full of spite or anger that your first reaction to certain situations or comments from others is to go off on a tangent, no one is going to believe the love that eventually gets pulled out is genuine.

If your heart is full of lust, no one is going to trust you to be there for them as a brother or a sister, a father figure or a mentor—at least they shouldn’t, sadly they too often do, which is why seemingly good people turn out to be monsters—they packed too much of the wrong stuff into their hearts, they wanted to go somewhere good, maybe help some folks along the way, but they were bogged down with too much junk and it had to come out.

Are you tracking with me here?

45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45IMG_1515

Whatever you are harboring in your heart is what is going to spill out of your mouth, and what spills out of your mouth is who you are. We are, in the Spirit realm and in the eyes of the world, what we speak. Seriously—we are saved by our words, “if you confess with your mouth, that Jesus Christ is Lord.” Because it is an indication of what is in your heart; “And believe with your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 8:9

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