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The Body Builder – Baggage

Captain Terry Camsey


By Captain Terry Camsey – 

Well, it’s arrived! A crate full of boxes from England and another pile of boxes from storage while we were in England.

It’s like having two Christmases. We were given only a month’s notice for our move in 1995 to the UK and, since it was just after Christmas and many folks were away over the Christmas break, trying to get all the legal papers completed was hindered. Plus…have you ever tried to sort out what to leave and what to take when you plan to be out of the country for three years or so?

We had “stuff” to send direct to the office in London: resources that would be immediately needed. We had more “stuff” to take with us, making sure that we had enough clothing to last until the rest, to be shipped, arrived over there. Then there was the “stuff” to be shipped and there was “stuff” to be stored!

The net result was that most boxes did not get labeled well. So, as you’ll realize, it really has been like a second Christmas opening the boxes that have been in store…and then determining where to store the contents so that they are easily retrievable.

Then there’s the difficulty of knowing whether one’s new office will be as large as the one left in the old country. Specialists tend to accumulate many resources that they like to have easily to hand, and I am certainly no different. Since I avidly read and digest every book I can get my hands on that will throw further light on the challenges we face, my library is sizable. I have this strange quirk of memory that enables me to remember just where to retrieve information I have read, so having the books ready for confirmation and reference is important.

But, oh! The “junk” we seem to accumulate. The first things that will have to go are clothes that no longer fit my frame or the style expected of a man of my (now) mature age.

(Whisper it, but from the look of some of the flared pants, they must have been purchased in the ’60s!)

Of course, time has caught up with us. Our vast stock of long-playing records are now very dated and of poor playback quality compared to what we have become used to with CDs and digital sound. There’s a nostalgic quality to them, to be sure, but few–unless of our age and sharing our same history and interests–would find them interesting or attractive. That is not to downplay the value of nostalgia among people held together by such similar history and interests, but as a means of communication to younger generations…I’m not so sure.

Baggage. It tends to accumulate like ice on the wings of an airplane in freezing cold weather. Unless we are careful it can hold the same potential for bringing our “plane” down especially if we are trying to “take off” and “soar.” Those kinds of activities call for a slimming down…a “scraping off” as it were, of the “barnacles” that adhere so rigidly to our “gospel vessel”!

The writer of Hebrews used another metaphor when, talking of running the race that lies ahead, he urges us to “throw off every encumbrance” (chuck out all the baggage, scrape off all the barnacles, thaw off all the ice, toss out all the old clothes…) and run with resolution the race which lies ahead of us.

MISSION2000 is approaching the final curve. Shall we finish that race in the time we set ourselves? Is it time to “strip off” further…? Are we carrying any “baggage” that slows us down?

If so, perhaps it’s time to think about jettisoning it. What do you think?

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