Identify your baggage..!
On July 3l, 1838 on the Island of Jamaica, a man named William Knibbs, gathered 10,000 slaves for a great praise gathering. They were celebrating the New Emancipation Proclamation Act that would abolish slavery on the island. They had built an immense coffin and into it were placed whips, branding irons, chains, fetters of all kinds, slave garments and all the things that represented the terrible slavery system that was now coming to a welcome end.
At the first stroke of the midnight bell, Knibbs shouted out, “The monster is dying.” At each stroke of the bell that followed this cry was repeated and the great crowd began to join in the cry. At the twelfth stoke 10,000 voices cried out, “The monster is dead, the monster is dead, let us bury him.” They then screwed the coffin lid down and lowered it into a huge grave and covered it up. That night, every heart rejoiced and 10,000 voices grew hoarse, shouting and crying with joy. Once they were in bondage to slavery, but now they were free.
There is a tragic side to this story. While many rejoiced in their new liberty and freedom, there were some slaves, that lived in remote areas of the island, that did not know they were free. Because they didn’t know, for many years they still continued to serve their slave masters. Their former masters successfully kept the news from them as long as they could. By law they had been declared free men and did not have to live as slaves any longer. However, ignorance of the truth kept them in bondage. Now let me tell you an even sadder story. Today, if we’d hear a story of something like that happening, we’d be shocked, sympathetic and even angry.
But the truth is, the same type of thing is happening in our day. We are all slaves of the baggage we carry, our fears our inhibitions etc, etc, the taskmasters are varied, but the bondage remains, baggage which you should put in a coffin and bury. Are you ready to throw off your shackles or would you like to be like those slaves who hid in the jungles and died never knowing they were free? The choice is yours, identify what is holding you down and throw the baggage away…!