Lightening your Load

Good thoughts for an uncertain time:



Lightening your Load


I love to hike along the Appalachian Trail (or the “A.T.” as it is called.)
One thing backpacking quickly teaches you is the priority of traveling light. When you are carrying a 30-40 pound pack on your back for 10-15 miles per day, you quickly learn what not to carry.

Long-distance hikers are famous for the lengths they will go to reduce their pack weight. I’ve met hikers along the northern stretches of A.T. who had pared their pack weight down to under twenty pounds. They didn’t even carry much water in their canteens (Their comment: “Man, I drink lots of water at every spring and carry my water ‘inside me.’ “ )

One of the prime examples of traveling light is the backpacker’s toothbrush. It is a toothbrush with the majority of the handle cut off. A true backpacker will say, “That long handle is just for city people. You don’t need all of that extra weight.”

I checked a toothbrush on a postal scale. The toothbrush weighed 6 ounces (not quite half a pound) before I cut off the handle. After I had removed most of the handle, it now weighed half of what it had weighed- 3 oz.

Most often you’ll not find really heavy items to remove from your pack. Lightening your pack requires twenty small decisions to remove/lighten items. All of a sudden, your pack is now 6 pounds lighter and that makes a real difference!


So it is important to “de-clutter” and travel light. Here are my 5 items to eliminate from “my backpack” this week as I travel on my life’s journey:

Negative thinking– I will choose to think positively believing that “all things are possible through Christ” as Paul states in Philippians 4:13.
– Bitterness- This heavy weight loads down anyone who carries it. It is the one emotion that nothing good can come out of. I will forgive, forget, and reconcile to avoid this “cancer of the soul.”
– Being afraid of what others think or say. I will not “set my sails” due to the whims and criticisms of what others may expect of me. To have the approval of God and my self-respect is all I need. The only way to please everyone is “to say nothing, do nothing, and be nothing.”
– Living a life of regrets from the past. Carrying the heavy stones of regret from the past only robs today (and tomorrow) of joy. Because I have the forgiveness of God, I will not dig up my past sins, shortcomings, and failures.
Jealousy I choose not to carry the extra weight of comparing everything I have to someone else. “If you look at what you do not have in life, you don’t have anything. If you look at what you do have in life, you have everything.”


Happy Hiking!
Travel light! Travel joyously!


We believe that every journey has a story, and every story involves a journey.


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