How many times have you checked in at the airport and watched to make sure your luggage made it on the belt to be loaded on your flight?
As you wait for your ticket to be processed you see all the other pieces of luggage traveling on the conveyor belt too. Big sizes, small sizes and in between sizes. Some marked with bright ribbon to be noticeable or stand out among the others, some brand new with no scratches or marks and others that are battered and well worn. A few marked as “heavy” and others have bright “transfer” tags. Some are held together with tape.
I was watching the luggage go by the other day while waiting for a flight change to be made and I made these observations and asked myself these questions:
Where did they come from? Where are they headed? To whom do they belong and what is the story of the owners?
I also thought about how the luggage represented me at times when I have felt larger than life and on top of the world, or small and unseen or even in between and blending into the crowd. Other times I am so full of life that I appear to be wearing a bright ribbon that shouts, “Look at me! Look at me!”
The one thing that I do not have in common with the luggage are the visible scratches, scars, dents and places that are worn out. No one sees the tape that holds these places together.
All of us have things we hide from others so no one will know that we are not perfect or that we are vulnerable. We become so good at hiding our dents and scrapes that we even convince ourselves that they are not there. It becomes so easy to do. But what happens when we are vulnerable and those dents and scrapes become visible to others? How do we react and how do we learn from this exposure?
I used to never let anyone come to my house unless it was spotless. Why would I want anyone to think we lived in our house and it got messy at times? What would people think if my floor was not clean or the dust was thick enough to write your name in? What would they think if the back door was full of tiny handprints or paw prints? Who would want to be friends with a slob like me?
Wow! Did I have a false and vain sense of myself? Number one, there was only one who was perfect and it was not me!!! Number two, I did not value my friends enough to let them in to see the real me. And that was only on the outside.
What would others think if they knew how insecure I was; I was too fat, had crazy hair, didn’t have fashion and had no real talents like singing, playing an instrument or leading a group?
This was exactly how I felt a good portion of my life. I was always too fat, my bright red, wavy hair was the bane of my existence and I could never get up in front of a group and be the leader. My priorities were so skewed and I let pride keep me from forming deep relationships with others. All my priorities were misplaced and out of whack with God’s word. And my family and friends suffered through my trying to be the “perfect” wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. I think of all the experiences I missed out on because I would not let others in to see and know the real me.
Through much prayer and studying I learned that I would never be “perfect” and that I couldn’t earn my way into Heaven. All the correct things I was doing didn’t make any difference to God because he loved me just as I was and loves me now just as I am. In Psalm 139:14 it says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made: your works are wonderful, I know that full well”. God makes everyone and everything perfect. He made us in his image and we are to honor Him by loving ourselves just as he made us. We have free choice to decide what we do with our bodies, minds and souls but He gives us his Word as to how we should honor him.
Easter of 2015, I had an epiphany while attending church. As the choir sang “Because He Lives”, the ice melted around my heart and the floodgates opened. I was free! Free from insecurities and doubts. God let me know right then that I am His and He is mine. Oh what a freeing feeling and a huge blessing.
You too can have this if you will open your heart, be vulnerable and trust in the One who can carry you through all your trials, triumphs and everyday life. Just say yes!! You will be amazed at the change in your life and the lives of those around you.
As I go around on the Conveyor Belt of Life, I still acquire dents, scrapes, and scratches and I still struggle with trying to cover them up. I am more open to letting people know the real me and come inside.
I challenge you to open yourself to what God has to offer you. Examine your priorities and reassess what is important to you. Expose your dents, scrapes and scars and wear them proudly. Know that you are wonderfully and beautifully made. God loves you and wants a relationship with you.
Heavenly Father, lift me up to be all that you made me to be. Give me the courage and strength I need to be vulnerable in all areas of my life, knowing that You will always hold me when I fall and walk along with me as I travel this conveyor belt of life. Only with my hand in yours can I live up to your expectations and follow the path you have for me.
In your Son’s precious name I pray. Amen