How much baggage are you flying with?

A Christian Science perspective.

Anyone who travels a bit on airlines has probably learned some lessons from baggage, such as: Travel light. Be sure to take the right suitcase off the carousel.

More life changing, though, are the spiritual lessons that can be gleaned from traveling with bags.

Lesson No. 1: Less baggage works better. If your flight is canceled, you can more easily catch another one if you haven’t checked your bags. Most airlines won’t make an easy change when checked bags are involved.

See the spiritual lesson here? The less baggage – spiritually translated as the less disheartened, fearful, angry, jealous, or limited thinking we carry in our heart – the freer and easier our lives are. Nimble thought enables you to respond confidently with spiritual reasoning, moving practically on your life journey. Less mental baggage, smoother journeying.

Lesson No. 2: Claim the right bag after you deplane. If you somehow took the wrong bag, calmly find a way to exchange it for the right one.

In life, we often claim mental baggage that doesn’t – and never could – belong to us. Baggage is often filled with identifications that have no relevance to our real, spiritual identity – identifications such as we don’t look, perform, or think like others who seem successful. Maybe there’s a heavy bag of responsibility. What’s the answer? Calmly leave the baggage, and exchange the confused view of ourselves for our original, free, God-created identity.

Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Monitor, echoed biblical injunctions when she wrote of God, “[W]e should understand something of that great good for which we are to leave all else” (“The People’s Idea of God,” p. 6). We can leave the heavy weights in our lives and trust in God’s nature as infinite good to sustain our identity and all that we need to live joyfully.

The spiritual lessons about baggage are the best: Journey light, unburdened. And accept only the right bag, the correct identity – the God-given identity – which is always the right carry-on!

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to