At the Baggage Claim.


“When ya hit the ground, check the lost and found. Cause it ain’t my problem now.” 

If you don’t know where the quoted lyrics/title of this blog came from, let’s fix that… 

(Watch the video. Just. Do. It.)

So once you weed through the pissed off vibes/over-the-top sass that the song can elude to in a not-so-subtle way, you find Miranda Lambert setting a stage on fire and probably wanting to shoot somebody in the process. When I first heard the song, I hated it with a passion. Baggage Claim? Really? I thought of a cheesy song incorporating an airport, an ill-break break up, and yes, of course, some sort of fire/explosion.  But with time, I began to appreciate the song. Yes, because I am an avid fan of Miranda Lambert. And yes, because she has a certain sound unrivaled by any other female artist of this generation… But it hit home with me with time mainly because I saw a parallel that bridged this song to my life (minus the pissed off woman/sassafrass tude). The baggage claim… Yep. I needed to go there. But just didn’t want to. 

I’m in the miserable/exciting process of moving as we speak, and I have already found out so much about myself through it. My brother pointed out a rather profound statement today (probably more profound than he thought): “You have to really love something to keep it when moving.” Hmm. Ain’t that the truth. It seems like the weeding-through process of going from place to place triggers this mindset of necessity– a way of thinking, life, that wants only what’s needed. Nothing more. Nothing less. And there ya go. There’s a message in that. 

You see, I’ve had a problem in the past. Clutter– I really like it. It’s something to hide behind. It’s something to cling onto. Something to look back on and reminisce of days that have passed and will never come again. It’s comfortable because all clutter is of the past… something I know. Something I’m familiar with. And something I can control in a weird materialistic way (good luck making sense of that statement :D). But I like it. And that’s not necessarily okay.

Going through all the stuff I have kept with time was a little alarming.  I found myself asking repeatedly, “Why on earth do I still have this?”  Truth is, there’s no justifiable answer apart from the fact that I don’t like letting go of things, even when they’ve dropped me like a hot potato. I don’t like letting go, because that means I don’t get to control the way that memory/person/thing affects me. Twisted? Ya dang right. But I think a lot of people battle this subconsciously.  You don’t want to not care, despite the freedom it brings. But there’s some spiritual cleansing that, indeed, needs to be dropped and left at the baggage claim. 

The past two years of my life… have been.. well, interesting. A blessing, simply because of the place I have now found myself. I have done so much wrong– I’ve been walked on, used, toyed with, a jerk, a selfish freshman, a stupid freshman, a man-wanna-be at times, and a desperate child yearning for a nourishment that only comes with the presence of manhood. There is no finality to that term: manhood. Or rather, I should say Christian manhood, as definition will vary. It’s a constant step-by-step betterment process.  No man is what he could be. No man can hold manhood to its fullest. But all men are men because they choose to enter a process of striving for something they will never perfect. And THAT is something to pride in– a choice independent of age, experience, past, future, etc. (Oh, and by the way, there are a lot of parallels to be made here between Christian manhood and Christianity as a whole. Feel free to speculate)

Though I’ve been to the baggage claim before, it’s nice to visit again. Not for the old comfort that the baggage used to provide, but for the mounds and mounds of baggage piled up that I don’t care about anymore. It’s shaped me into who I am, and that– I do care about.  But the crap that has gotten me to this GOOD place, is not so good itself.  The baggage that I used to want, “ain’t my problem now.” And I LOVE that. I’ve had a hard time in the past believing that people/things come in our lives to eventually leave. But now, I’m beginning to understand the spiritual and moral obligation from Christ TO let the baggage be dropped off and (as Miranda loves to demonstrate) set on fire. 

Fall of 2012… it’s going to be a time of moving, but not just in the materialistic sense. Moving towards a newness, a cleansing of who I’ve been, a combing through transition from one lifestyle to the next…. An Airstream ride from one world to another, if you will. And it’s only fitting that the baggage claim be visited in a symbolic correspondence to this place I’m in. Because without a realization of the lack of necessity so many things in my life have had, I would still be clinging to things of the past, simultaneously trying to grasp a sense of control on things that have already happened, good and bad. And now… let’s just say I’m traveling lightly. And I like it. I like it a lot. 

Miranda was singing about dropping someone else’s baggage off. But me? I sing that song to myself. The baggage claim is in my rear view, but I’m sure I’ll have to pay it a visit again at some point. It’s good to know that we CAN let go, isn’t it? Control is not a requirement for life. Thank God. Or else we’d all be long gone. And as I continue on this long journey in an Airstream, a little Summer cleaning sure is good to see. Makes the drive a lot more enjoyable, that’s for sure.  

So to the baggage that I’ve dropped off, I don’t have much to say. But I’ll quote Miranda for you: “Come and get it.”  Cause if there’s one thing I know– I sure don’t want it.

Lovin the lightweight,

Alex  

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