The Mission Bag


What’s in your bag?

We all have one. Some are bigger than others. What is it? It’s called a mission bag. I was recently introduced to the concept while watching the aptly named movie, The Mission. 

A mission bag is the heavy sack we carry around that contains all our junk–emotional junk, that is. No doubt, yours will be completely different from mine. In fact, you may not even recognize yours as junk, and will continue to carry it into every situation and season of life. 

Don’t let it fool you, just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. You know it’s there. Maybe it keeps you up at night or weaves it’s way into your day to day world. It may interfere with your relationships or cause tremendous anxiety in your work life balance. Maybe it messes with your finances or prevents you from fulfilling your dreams. It may manifest as insecurity, jealousy, anger, low self esteem, or an overall sense of sadness. Whatever form it takes, its heavy and weighs you down while sucking the emotional well being from deep in your soul.

In the movie, Robert De Niro plays a reformed slave hunter. He straps on his mission bag as he ascends the rough terrain of the Brazilian mountains, where he intends to live out his days bringing Christianity to the natives. In one of the most poignant scenes in the film he attempts to scale a mountain waterfall with his mission bag strapped firmly around his body. The force of the water coupled with the weight of the bag have him teetering on the edge and barely able to take another step. His leader urges him to cut the bag and let it go, but he will not entertain such a thought. He knows he may not make it up the mountain if he doesn’t shed the bag. But it contains every earthly possession he owns and may need as he moves into The Mission. The bag is chock full of emotional baggage. In other words, it contains all his junk. 

Sound familiar? The parallel to real life if astounding. It gives new meaning to junk in our trunk. At some point in our lives, we have to start tossing things overboard in order to make space for the important things to take root and grow. As we age and gain perspective, hopefully we become more self aware and are brave enough to cut the entire bag loose. In the meantime, the key is to recognize the junk and have the emotional clarity to purge it from your bag as it no longer serves you.

Here’s to a lighter load!

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One thought on “The Mission Bag

  1. Debbie, This post has given me much to think about. As an “old person” I realize that my “bag” has been with me so long that it will be difficult to dump. But how wonderful it would be to have a lighter load the remaining years. Once again, I am amazed at your mastery of words.

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