As Jesus prepares to send his disciples out in pairs to preach the Gospel he tells them, ‘Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money—not even an extra tunic.’ (Luke 9:3) The point was so they could experience the miracle of God’s miraculous provision.
I doubt that I would have done well on this exam. I tend to over pack for a trip adhering to the philosophy of ‘better to have it and not need it rather than need it and not have it.’ So, long ago I learned that you can cram a lot more clothes in your suitcase if you roll your garments up like cord wood and stack them in tightly. I generally do not travel light.
This journey is different. While I’m not attempting to follow Jesus’ instructions to take literally nothing for my journey, I am striving to travel as lightly as possible. This becomes understandable – even essential – when you have to drag every ounce you choose to carry the entire distance from L.A. to San Francisco. My new packing philosophy for this trip is – ‘Do I really need this?’
I recall going to summer camp as a youth at Camp Woodland Altars in Southern Ohio. The experience was intentionally primitive. We slept in glorified tents. We cooked our meals over a campfire. We took our showers at the swimming pool. We were told not to bring radios or tape players – that was in the days before ipods and MP3 players. The first couple of days of camp were always an adjustment, but by the end of the week I always found myself appreciating the stark simplicity of each day. We had more physical chores when camping than back in civilization, but I always found the experience extremely restful. By the end of the week I didn’t want to go home.
Part of what I hope to capture on this journey is that sense of rest. I’ll need to travel light to do so. I will have to let go of the temptation to try to carry enough gear with me to face every possible situation. To do that I will have to let go of my fear of not being prepared, not being in control. I hope to experience God’s miraculous provision in terms of the renewal of my spirit as I strive to depend upon Him and not myself for a change.