Holly and I are nearly off on our three month Pilgrimage to the Holy Land and following the footsteps of Paul. We have been packing for weeks! We have different views about packing. Packing begins for her about a month or two before departure.
My packing often starts the night before we leave. Slam boom bang. I sweep through my stuff and pull it fast and efficiently. Half an hour and it’s done. Whatever is not finished can be completed on departure day. However, this journey is too long and too complicated to pack the night before. On this journey, we have had to pair down to one rucksack and a small carry-on between us. How do you pack everything you are going to need for three months? I told the congregation on Sunday that a good journey is like a good sermon, less is often better! 🙂
When Jesus sent his disciples out on their first missionary Journey in Mark chapter 6, he told them to travel light, “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra tunic.”
Anyone who has ever done a long walking journey knows how important it is to travel light. There is a good argument here for simplifying our lives. It is amazing how easy it is to accumulate stuff in our society. The stuff we accumulate, in the worse case scenarios begins to take over our lives, and impedes our ability to live a healthy life, to be a good husband or wife or parent or to follow Jesus.
It is not just our possessions that can carry weight but the complexity of our lives. Our habits, our routines, our work, our responsibilities, as well as our addictions. The weight of these things can become unbearable over time.
One area of my life which had become a burden to me was my church office. I had completely run out of space to put anything and files where piling up on the floor, the desk, the bookshelf, everywhere. Holly helped me do it. We spent three precious half days sorting and recycling files some of which I had not touched for thirty years! How good it feels to let go of the old stuff. It is freedom.
“Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
~ Hebrews 12:1