I see life as one great big long road.  We begin down the road the moment we are born.  Our time in the womb prepares us for our journey, and the minute we enter this world we begin traveling down the road.  When we begin our journey, we do so without any weight on our backs.  Our caretakers take care of navigating us down the road and carry the load for us.  As we begin to get older, the path is ours to take.  As we begin to mature and the stress of this world begins to weigh us down, we start picking up backpacks to carry down the road with us.  The ones full of hope, love, joy, and peace are light and easy to carry.  The ones filled with hate, discontentment, unhappiness, and worry are heavy.  The weight of the backpacks full of negativity causes our traveling to be slow and laborious.  We soon realize that in order to make our trip go more smoothly we have to get rid of some of our backpacks.

Often, we choose to lay down the wrong packs.  Because our journey is so difficult we sometimes get rid of the packs filled with hope, love, peace and joy and continue to carry the packs full of hate, discontentment, unhappiness, and worry.  We mistakenly think getting rid of the lighter backpacks will make our journey faster and smoother.  Unfortunately, getting rid of the backpacks carrying the good things in life makes the other backpacks we continue to carry even heavier.  You see we have to have the good to balance out the bad.  Sometimes the weight of the backpacks becomes so much that we stop moving down the path all together or we take a short cut through the woods thinking that will make the journey better.  Getting off the path only causes us more hardship, and we pick up new packs that we would have never encountered had we stayed on the path.  

As the years go by, the weight of the backpacks gets greater, and we become even more discontented and worried.  We begin to feel hopeless and think that moving forward is not worth the effort.  We search for answers to help us with our journey, but often we look in the wrong places.  We sometimes rely on others that we find in the woods to help us.  They seem willing, but often they are just looking for someone to carry their backpacks for them.  When we begin to carry their backpacks our load becomes even heavier.  Our journey turns into a crawl, and we feel like we cannot go on.  We wander around in the woods looking for some kind of relief. Unfortunately, we are always looking in the wrong places.  

Finally, the day comes when we stop and we get down on our knees and begin to pray.  We plead with God to help us carry our load.  He finds us, because He always does, and he gives us the strength and courage to find our way back to the path we were originally traveling.  Then He takes our hand and begins to lead us down the path.  This time we let him do the navigating.  On the side of the path we see things that may tempt us to get off the path once again, but He just continues to say, “Follow me”.  Even with God leading us, the path can be bumpy and hard, but He continues to say, “Follow me”.  As we follow Him we start to drop some of the extra backpacks filled with the negative things we have experienced along our journey. Our load gets lighter and our travels seem better.  Further down the road we find the backpacks that we had dropped years ago filled with love, joy, and peace.  We drop some of the heavier backpacks and pick those up.  These backpacks give us even more strength and make our journey even better.  Before we know it, we have dropped all the heavy backpacks filled with all the negative things of this world and we are only carrying hope, love, joy, and peace.  

Our journey continues to go smoothly.  Even when we encounter difficult situations and hardships the backpacks we are now carrying give us strength to deal with the problems and we continue on.  So in life, it is important to follow God down the path and listen to His quiet, still voice.  It is important to drop the backpacks carrying all the negative attitudes of this world and to carry only the backpacks full of hope, love, joy, and peace.  When we all finally do that, our journey will be so much more enjoyable, and the blessings and beauty of life that God wants to share with us will begin to come into view and we will begin to be filled with peace and PEACE MATTERS.