In recent years, we’ve had Church leaders liken sins to rocks in a backpack. On a hike, you only want to carry the essentials in your backpack. You certainly do not want to be weighed down by useless items such as rocks. These would make your journey unnecessarily difficult.
And so it is with sin. Sin creates unnecessary burdens upon us. If we will only cast aside our sins, our backpacks will be so much lighter and our journeys will be so much easier.
Well, that’s how the parable goes. Let’s talk about real life now.
In real life, my son carries a backpack to school and back home every day that is unnecessarily (he says) weighed down with homework assignments and textbooks. Over time, this can cause strain on the backpack: zippers popping, seams ripping, and all that stuff. My son's suggestion for easing the burden on the backpack was to cast away some of the textbooks, sort of like sins. But Mom didn’t go for that idea.
Eventually the zipper broke on the poor backpack, and I had to bundle it up and send it back to the manufacturer for repair or replacement. I’d done this before with other backpacks, under their respective lifetime warranties. Once the company had sewn up a hole in a backpack for me, under the warranty. Another couple of times, they’d simply replaced the whole thing with new backpacks.
So when a box arrived this time from the backpack company, I wasn’t too worried that they’d included a note that said they were no longer producing the kind of backpack we'd sent them. Instead, they'd sent us a brand-new backpack of another (but comparable) design.
Then we opened it. It was pink.
Now being the teenager that he is, my son was not impressed with this new backpack. And being the perceptive and sensitive mother that I am, I of course recognized this right away. I am proud to say that I did not ever, not once, consider trying to convince him it was red and he was just color blind.
But my sensitivity unfortunately created some more work on my part. I found the number to the backpack company, called them up, and explained my dilemma to the person that answered the phone:
Me (sounding somber; after all, this is a very serious problem): We sent in a backpack for warranty repair or replacement a couple of weeks ago. You guys sent us a new one. The problem is, it’s for my teenage son and the one you sent us is pink.
Telephone Person: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHEEHEEHEEHEEHEEHOHOHOHO…
She transferred me to the correct department. Once again I told our sad tale.
Me: We sent in a backpack for warranty repair or replacement a couple of weeks ago. You guys sent us a new one. The problem is, it’s for my teenage son and the one you sent us is pink.
Warranty Department Lady: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHEEHEEHEEHEEHEEHOHOHOHO…
Once everyone had enjoyed a good laugh, they did put in orders to send us a more appropriate BLACK backpack. They are also sending us a mailing label so we can ship back the pink backpack free of charge. So all’s well that ends well.
The moral to the story is, sometimes it isn’t enough to take the rocks out of your backpack. Sometimes you just have to send back the whole dang thing.