Have you ever heard the saying “It’s in the bag”? I’ve heard it many times when referencing a particular sporting event; something like a football game when the home team is up 40 to zero. This morning however I saw something that made me think about that saying in a whole new way.
I drive the same route to work almost every day. The scenery doesn’t change much unless school is in session. This morning, with no school in session, the scenery did change and it caught me off guard.
At seven this morning I was driving the straight shot from my husband’s office to mine. The sun was shining brightly to warm the Earth and let her know it was time to wake up to a new day. The air was still, there was no humidity, and there was very little traffic. The fountains were bubbling as I passed by the park and I thought about the kids who would soon be playing in them while their mothers visited. The traffic lights were with me and the drive was easy. That is until I noticed him and his bag.
His shoulders slumped, his eyes drooped, and he was dressed in worn clothing. He was resting on the curb beside the viaduct. Beside him was a large garbage bag. I knew immediately it was one of the many individuals in town who had likely spent the previous night without a roof over his head. He looked haggard in a way that defies words; like restful sleep is not part of his life on a routine basis.
The man tugged at my heart-strings but it was the bag beside him that truly held my attention. What was in that bag I wondered. His clothing perhaps? Pictures of his life; his youth, his wife, maybe his children? Maybe that bag held cans he’d collected to exchange for enough money to eat. Then again, maybe, just maybe…
Maybe it was his whole life in that bag. Could it be possible that everything this man has in the world fit into one large garbage bag? How does one fit a life into a garbage bag?
I suppose it depends on your definition of “life” and what’s important.
As I drove past, still wondering about the man, I began to wonder about life and if what’s important to me could fit in a large garbage bag. Stuff has never been important to me. My family and friends are important.
Would I still think stuff wasn’t important if I no longer had stuff? Circumstances are largely uncontrollable; our reactions to them are, however, controllable. How would I react if suddenly faced with nothing but the sky overhead and the Earth beneath my feet? Would I find a large garbage bag and begin to fill it with my life?
It’s in the bag…what IT is, is up to me.