A Lighter Load
I moved out of my old place a few months ago now, and these are some of the last boxes to make it to the new place. Pots and pans and what not. I haven’t had a chance to bring them over because of the work/vacation travelling I’ve done since Mark Central. But here they are now. I keep looking at them, and it makes me wish I had less stuff to drag around each time I move.
As I write this, I’m already trying to figure out in my mind what I’m going to pack up (again) as I prepare for my Global Urban Partnership this summer. In 10 days I’ll be heading overseas with some students for a month long culture exchange. I am dreading the packing process because I always overpack. Always!
When I pack for some excursion, I (sub)consciously think of all the situations I need to be prepared for: Hoodies for cool nights, multiple shirts so that I don’t have to wear sweat-stained clothes, books to read in my spare time in transit, my macbook, my many journals, my beard trimmer, different pairs of shoes for different occasions, and this list can keep going with options and possibilities, but I’m pretty sure you’d get bored reading if I continued.
If I took everything I thought I might need this summer, I could probably fill 4 or 5 duffel bags. I don’t think I am alone in this either. We have a
tendency desire to be prepared for everything. Isn’t that some boy scout motto or something: “Always be prepared”? Funny thing is, the more things we want to bring with us, the more we are depending on those things for our sustenance and survival. And that’s kinda counterintuitive to the mission Jesus sends us into.
There’s that funny line we want to forget in Luke 10:
See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves.
We tend to be prepared for every situation because we want to avoid danger. But Jesus doesn’t guarantee that to us. In fact the opposite is true. He says it’s going to be dangerous and risky. Right after the line about lambs and wolves he says:
Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals, and greet no one on the road.
Don’t take stuff with you that will offer false security. Take nothing so that you can depend on the one who sends you - he’s got your back. It’s a tough challenge to take on – to forsake preparedness for all situations and choose
dependence on Jesus. But it’s what we’re called to do. Now I will be taking the things I need to responsibly lead students (parents have no fear – we’ll be taken care of), but as for personal effects, that load might be lighter.
I don’t pretend to think it is easy, but these are the thoughts I am going to be meditating on while I pack my bag next week. Here’s hoping the bag is light.
Postscript: I am also convinced that Jesus tells us to take nothing because he knew how terrible it would be to carry 50 lbs of luggage on your back through multiple international airports and train stations. Yes, he most definitely saw that one coming. Wish I had the past two summers.