It may seem a small thing, but… I never sleep all night through, even using my CPAP.

Several years ago, I didn’t sleep well at all. (Pre-CPAP) I woke up repeatedly during the night, my mind spinning out of control. Anxiety. Panic. No way to shut it down. I found my own use for a rosary in those days. Instead of a Mystery, I would try to focus on just one of the great cloud of worries, and hand it over. Then, came the Hail Mary’s as I tried to let go. Next, decade, I would try to single out another worry and let go. Some nights I think it took all 15 to calm down enough to try to sleep.

Quiet. What a gift! Now I still wake up a few times per night. But it is different. If I lay on one side for too long, my hip hurts and I wake up. If I am on my back, sometimes my arm will go to sleep and I will wake up. And there’s that stupid hose that pushes air into the CPAP mask and tangles me up at times. But — the mind in quiet. The cloud of worries has dissipated. The present lives. I breathe. I am. Aaah.

It was a pretty useless cloud of worries — a list of things that I could not control or things that I had “done wrong” that took great joy in hounding me. It was a cloud intent on keeping me from peace, from the present and always in the past or future. May it never return.

Baggage: Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;

Today’s Gospel (Luke 10,1-9) contains the instructions to the 72 sent out by Jesus: …Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way…

What strikes me is that the instruction is to leave your baggage behind. I carry too much baggage with me into any situation. It’s hard to leave baggage behind. I mean, get real — sometimes I remember how someone reacted last time. Or, I know I trust this person to be less than open. And yet, Jesus tells me to go without baggage and offer peace. And, if it doesn’t work out, don’t take the bad stuff with me when I leave.

Good advice. But not so easy to carry out at times.