It was an early morning flight out of Dallas on my way to San Jose. Expecting the flight to be lengthy, and knowing that breakfast would not be served, I purchased breakfast from one of the terminal shops. The cashier gave me my breakfast in a brown paper bag with my choice of Orange Juice.
As I entered the aircraft and walked to my seat, I was a bit confused about my seat number. Before boarding, I had looked at my boarding pass and noticed that my seat number was 6C, which I presumed to be a bulk-head seat on the front row of the economy class. To my surprise, I realized that I was bumped up to a first class seat, which occasionally happens because of my mileage accrued with constant flights. That’s when I remembered that the first class section serves meals to the passengers unlike the economy seats where only beverages are served.
So I settled down in my first class seat with my brown paper bag of breakfast. Soon after take-off, I proceeded to eat my breakfast sandwich as the flight attendant proceeded to prepare the meals for the first class passengers. It was after I finished my sandwich that I was offered the “first class” breakfast. It was certainly not like mine. They served it on a tray draped with a nice cloth that gave it a classy look. As the breakfast was offered to me, I pointed to my brown bag and said “no thanks.” Thus I sat there watching the others eat a nice breakfast while I sat there with my brown bag.
I took out my boarding pass and noticed the words “FIRST” written in bold capital letters. Although the printing was clear and obvious, I somehow failed to recognize its value. I didn’t expect to be in first class. Instead, I went through the trouble of purchasing my own breakfast when a better one was already provided for me.
Our life often transpires in a similar fashion. We all have sinned and carry the burden of the guilt for many years; even those who have accepted Christ. As we go on in life, the weight of the guilt gets heavier. Its impact on our life becomes more obvious as it affects our attitudes and thought patterns, which in turn affects our behavior. We do many things to deal with the symptoms, but we don’t recognize that it is a burden of guilt.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). He goes on to specify that it is rest for our souls. He said these words in the context of repentance from sins. When we are burdened with the guilt of sin, it is our soul that carries the weight. This is why we often don’t recognize what’s really happening to us. We may claim that it is bad luck, bad circumstances, bad relationships, or a host of other possibilities.
Jesus is the only one who can take away the burden of guilt from our souls. If we go to him and confess our sins, he promised that he would take away that burden of guilt. So what is that you’re carrying in your brown paper bag? Your own solution to your burdens? Now is the time to give that up and accept the forgiveness and rest that Jesus offers for your soul.