I played this game when we were kids. The host will lay out the premise that we were going on a trip, but we could only take two things. When it was your turn, you’d say, “My name is __________ and I’m taking ________ and ________.” The two things you chose determined whether you could take the trip or not. It took us awhile to figure why some were allowed to go and others weren’t. I finally passed the test when I said something like, “My name is Lynn Pryor and I’m taking a lamp and a pizza.” (I don’t like to eat in the dark, OK?)
What would you take if you had to leave with only what you could carry?
There’s a wonderful tale from medieval Germany of some fleeing women and what they choose to take with them. This may be more legend than fact, since there is only one early source that noted this event, but here’s the story.
In the 12th century, two factions in Germany were vying to rule the land. One group was led by Conrad of Hohenstaufen and the other by Henry the Proud. The town of Weinsberg (in southern Germany) was loyal to Henry, so Conrad laid siege to it in 1140. The villagers and soldiers inside the Weinsberg Castle soon gave up hope and surrendered.
But Conrad just wasn’t going to let them surrender. He wanted them to pay for their disloyalty. But before he wiped them out, he let the woman leave. He wasn’t Henry the Proud; he was more like Conrad the Nice Guy to the Women Folk. He told them they could take with them whatever they could carry on their backs. He was showing some mercy, because the women would need provisions as they trekked a good distance to safer country.
Conrad and his men watched as the women slowly left the castle, each one carrying a man on her back. Conrad was impressed with their creativity and refused to go back on his word. And as the story goes, all left the castle unharmed.
Allow me to make a spiritual point from this legend. We’ve all heard the clichés “You can’t take it with you” and “You’ll never see a hearse pulling a U-Hail trailer.” I beg to differ. We can take to heaven the people we carry with us.
Through our efforts, our kindness, and our verbal witness of Jesus Christ, we play a significant role as they place their faith in Christ. We “carry them” to heaven in the sense that we introduce them to Christ, the only Way to heaven.
Your video game scores won’t matter in heaven. Neither will your collection of first-edition books, Precious Moments figurines, or hobby supplies. Jesus said,
“Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal” (Matt. 6:19-20).
Go pick up a few people and take them with you. Let them be your treasures in heaven. Pick up a friend and take her to church with you. Pick up a co-worder, take him for coffee, and tell him how Jesus changed your life. According to the legend, some German women saved the lives of others they picked up and carried. We can do something even better—and that’s no legend.
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