Your Old Kit Bag

ImageIf you have been reading me for a while you know by now that most of my inspiration comes un-invited by me, it will be a thought or a song that invades my thinking and not leave me alone until I finally sit down and talk, write, investigate, or Google it to my satisfaction. I am writing this on Sunday evening, when I woke this morning my alarm sounded and for a moment I thought it was my burglar alarm, don’t know why it was so loud, it woke me from a deep sleep cycle and I stumbled down the stairs to make a strong enough coffee brew to help me finish putting together things for our Sunday lunch. After the coffee began to pour into the carafe I took the roast out of the fridge and started the process of seasoning and browning it to go into my silver and black crock-pot, color mentioned because I have two of these wonderful cooking devices and I was putting the vegetables I had pressured last night to make soup in the other one, which is blue. As an aside my new favorite thing to use in the kitchen is my Tfal Actifryer! It really does work! So, as I was listening to the coffee drip and the roast as it began to sizzle I noticed I was singing a song that I didn’t know all the lyrics for so I was humming the rest. Now I have never to my knowledge sung the song and really don’t know where I heard it unless it was in an old movie. I will hold you in suspense no longer (I realized you were holding your breath), It was “Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile…” I loved to watch the old spy/war movies, the ones you can find on TMC now, and it could be I heard it in one of those. All day off and on I have sung that much of the little song until I finally looked it up! I was right when I guessed it was something from World War 1, written in 1915, but what I didn’t know is that it was written for the British soldiers as a marching song! There was a contest for the best marching song and two brothers George Henry and Felix Powell, pulled this song out of a pile of their rejects, changed the music and lyrics a little and won! So what did all that have to do with me, standing here in my kitchen cooking on a Sunday morning? I couldn’t figure it out. Fast forward to this evening, I sat down and opened my email; I had one from a friend that was a link to an old video made in Honolulu, Hawaii. He had sent one this week from 135 years ago that was made in San Francisco that captured my attention so I couldn’t wait to see what this one was, it was a color 16mm film of men, women, soldiers all celebrating VJ Day August 14, 1945! The excitement and happiness, the leaping into the air and laughter of those young people had tears running down my face uncontrollably. This was where it had all begun on December 7, 1941 and now it was over and they could return to their families. Now I started putting the two together, the song and the film of celebration was about Wars. The verse goes on to say “What’s the use of worrying? It never was worthwhile, so pack up your troubles in your old kit bag, and smile, smile, smile. “ Luke 21: 25-28  “It will seem like all hell has broken loose—sun, moon, stars, earth, sea, in an uproar and everyone all over the world in a panic, the wind knocked out of them by the threat of doom, the powers-that-be quaking.  “And then—then!—they’ll see the Son of Man welcomed in grand style—a glorious welcome! When all this starts to happen, up on your feet. Stand tall with your heads high. Help is on the way!”  I don’t have to tell you that the news is terrible, wars, rumors of war, men in Washington making decisions to send our families to wars in another land and for what reason? Honestly I hate to be an ostrich but I want to hide my head in the sand and watch old I Love Lucy re-runs I really can’t take it anymore. The only thing that gives me hope is to know the scripture, which gives me reason to believe that Jesus could come back for us any old time now, there is nothing left to be fulfilled before he can make His entrance! Makes me want to sing a chorus of “We Shall Behold Him”. We know that we are commanded to “occupy” until He comes again so we keep working and trying to help everyone we can to find the way, like Christian in “A Pilgrim’s Progress”, we press on looking for the city afar off where there will be peace and joy. If you need help today and that seems too far away to give you any hope, I offer you 1 Peter 5:7 “casting all our care on Him for He cares for you.” For now let’s take the advice offered by the Powell brothers and sing “Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile” while we joyfully celebrate the end of our personal struggles because we are leaving them at the cross! Now we will sing one verse of a song written by Charlie Chaplin, “Smile, though your heart is aching
Smile, even though it’s breaking When there are clouds in the sky you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow Smile and maybe tomorrow You’ll see the sun come shining through for you…”  We can smile because the “sun” that comes shining through for us is spelled “Son”… are you smiling yet?

ps the “kit bag” was the British soldiers duffle bag!

2 Replies to “Your Old Kit Bag”

  1. Love this one especially! I can smell the roast and the coffee and hear the songs. Our elementary school music teacher Mrs. Ellen Johnson taught us several WWI songs, and I’ve remembered the tunes and a lot of the words all these many years. And, I love that Chaplin song. I even watch TCM 90% of my TV watching time. I relax by going back to the old days, when people seemed to want to do the right thing…most of the time…or they felt bad about it. Honor was something you worked to achieve and maintain, and a hero always emerged to save the day.

    Thanks for this trip down memory lane.


    1. Thank you! I can smell the stuff they used to spread on the floors at good old Daisy Elementary as I speak! LOL


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