"You're going to be walking a long way," my mother had said. "I'd like my son to have a good backpack."
It was going to be my first trip to Mexico to visit the Mixtec Indians. Many of them live in far-off villages scattered through the hills of Oaxaca, Mexico. My mother was right. Just to get to the village where the Bible conference was to be held, we would have to walk for many hours over the hills.
Mother kindly bought me the best backpack she could find. It was so light that you could lift it with one finger, and it had foam padding on the straps to keep the straps from cutting into my shoulders. When it was packed with extra clothes, some medicines, and a few other things that I might need, I tried the new backpack on. Sure, that was fine. I could carry that load easily enough!
A few weeks later we arrived in Mexico at the point where we would begin the hike.
"Could I carry your pack for you?" asked one of the Christian Indians.
"No thanks, I'm fine," I told him.
So we started off on the long walk. The backpack worked nicely, but the longer we walked the heavier it got. Surely those things I had packed weren't so heavy when I had tried it on at home! On we walked with the hot sun beating on our heads, up one hill and down another. Everyone had loads to carry now, so there was no one to offer to help with my backpack.
I began to be afraid that I would never make it, but after two hours someone came to meet us over the hills with a horse. This time when they offered I gladly gave up the pack, and it was tied to the horse. I was so tired that it did not matter to me that the padded straps of my new backpack were not being used the way they were meant to be, but were dangling from the horse's saddle.
Many times since then I have warned boys and girls that the load of sin is like the load in my backpack. The longer you carry it, the heavier it gets. This world tries to make sin look attractive, but it is still a heavy load. No matter how "light" your load of sin may feel when you are young, it will get heavier as you grow older. After a while the "foam padding" of pleasure no longer eases the weight of sins.
The Lord Jesus came into the world to free you from this load of sin. He Himself carried the load of sin when He was on the cross so that you might be free of your burden forever. "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many" (Hebrews 9:28).
Oh, that you might today feel the weight of your sins and turn to Christ for salvation. "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).
My backpack was the best that money could buy, but it could not keep my load from being heavy when I carried it for a long time. May you accept Christ as your Saviour now while you are young, before the load of sin becomes too heavy for you to carry. "Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death" (James 1:15).
"Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth" (Ecclesiastes 12:1).
Copied with permission for WholesomeWords.org from Messages of God's Love. Story also in Hugo and the Condors... published by Bible Truth Publishers.