How Full is Your Backpack?
By Rick Warren
— February 18, 2011
But the gate is small and the road is narrow that leads to true life. Only a few people find that road. Matthew 7:14 (NCV)
""He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." --Missionary Jim Elliot, killed while attempting to tell the Waodani people in Ecuador about Jesus."
Imagine trying to walk down a narrow path that is hemmed in by thorny vines and low hanging branches and you’re wearing a backpack overstuffed with the many things you think you need.
Imagine how exhausted and frustrated you’d be as your heavy backpack kept getting snagged in the branches and the vines. You’d begin to see that many of the things you carried were more of a hindrance than a help, and so one-by-one, you’d start pulling things out of your backpack, regretfully tossing them aside.
Imagine how you would feel when you come to the end of the narrow path and discover that to get to where you want to go, you have to squeeze through a very small gate. You start to pull the last of your things out of the backpack, but then you realize there is no sense in taking an empty backpack through the gate.
So you reluctantly leave it behind and head through the small gate into a new life. It is your life in Christ and you have followed Jesus down this narrow path and through this small gate into the kingdom of heaven.
Inside the kingdom, you realize you’ve made your journey more difficult than it had to be simply because everything you’d been so reluctant to leave behind is useless in your new life. And the things that Jesus provides for you in your new life are far more precious than any thing you left behind.
When Jesus demands our allegiance, he isn’t trying to take good things away from us; rather, he knows the world is coming to an end and he is trying to prepare us for an eternity living with him.
How are you doing with your goals and plans for this Decade of Destiny? What’s that one thing you’re reluctant to give up? Maybe it’s not a thing; maybe it is giving up the lack of discipline when it comes to your finances, or your health, or your Bible study.
Whatever it is, Jesus brings you to this choice: Will you trust him when he says you need to give this thing up, or will you insist that you need to carry an overstuffed backpack throughout the next ten years?