Deciding How Light To Pack


January 7, 2015

“Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you.  Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.”” -Luke 10:4-7 (NIV)


Today I am engaged in packing for my sabbatical. I will be spending a total of 10 weeks in a foreign country. I am an experienced traveler so I know the importance of traveling light, but I have to admit that this has always been difficult for me.

For one thing, I wear a size 13 shoe. Just two pairs of my shoes can take up a third of a standard roll aboard! Add to that the fact that I have always been a runner and I almost automatically have to take a couple pairs of shoes (I’ve never been able to get to the point of wearing my running shoes as casual shoes… that would save a lot of space, but I just can’t do it.) Though the size of the shoes is part of the problem, it is probably just a minor part.


The bigger issue really is that I am a child of my father. Dad would prepare to spend a weekend on the family farm and fill the crew cab section of his truck with “just in case” clothing and accouterments. This can be seen as a good thing (as in the Boy Scouts motto “Be Prepared”), that was not the form of his preparedness, or for that matter mine. It is really a subtle form of OCD!

So I battle it, reducing the number of shirts as I admit there are in fact washing machines where I am going and by admitting that the possibility of a snow storm in San Jose, Costa Rica is fairly unlikely…no need to pack that heavy jacket. Eventually I will get my apparel and equipment down to the point it will fit in the baggage I am allowed to take.

You may not be packing for a sabbatical like me; however, I am sure that all of us have packed up some unnecessary things and carried it into the New Year. I wonder if I do the same thing with my emotional baggage? Perhaps I need to learn to take the instruction of Christ in my packing and just trust that all the stuff I need will be supplied when I get there. But the problem is, that’s not just faith… it is FAITH!


Prayer: Dear God, help me to have the type of faith that would allow me to travel through life without the baggage I normally carry. Help me to release it and to trust in your ability to care for me. Amen.


Reverend Dr. Steve Van Ostran
ABCRM Executive Minister


**Please keep Steve in your prayers as he travels, learns, and refreshes during his upcoming sabbatical.

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