Daily Devotionals

Lighten Up

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Scripture:  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 5:3


I was recently listening to a podcast interviewing the spiritual leader Eckhart Tolle.  His explanation of this often-misinterpreted passage from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount fascinated me. When asked what “poor in spirit” means, Tolle replied, “No inner baggage.”  What a simple yet profound statement.  We are to let our inner baggage go so that our spirits are freed from their weight.  A lifetime of unresolved conflicts, disappointments, and hurts surely have their imprints on my spirit. What a heavy spirit I must have at 54 years old. So what’s the answer?  How do I lighten up spiritually? 


There is a Zen story that comes to mind.  Two monks are traveling through a village and they come across a young woman who cannot cross a large puddle of water without ruining the long silk garment she is wearing.  The younger monk just walks by her, but the older monk stops, puts the woman on his back, and carries her safely to the other side of the puddle.  The woman does not thank the monk; she just pushes him to the side and carries on her way.  The monks walk on in silence for several hours, when, finally, the younger monk admonishes the older monk for his actions.  “She didn’t even thank you,” he proclaims.  The older monk kindly smiles and says, “You are still carrying her? I let her go hours ago.”  


It’s as simple as that.  Let it go!  But sadly, we love to hang onto our anger, our righteous indignation, our hurts, and our disappointments.  A dear friend has been nudging me to seek the advice of a Christian therapist to help me work through some of my own “inner baggage.”  So this is my summer to do it.  I’m not going to just work on the outside, but also the “all important” inside.  I’m going to do my best to lighten up my spirit.  I challenge you to do the same.


Prayer:  Dear God, help us to take the time today to examine those issues that are weighing us down spiritually.  To honestly face and let go of anything that is not serving to glorify you.  Amen. 


Submitted by Lib Foster