The night before I was about to head out on a seven-day trip, I began to pack. I chose a small suitcase, as it would comfortably fit on my walker’s seat. It wouldn’t be a problem to transport my gear to the airport check-in counter by myself.
Makeup kits, lotions, and potions that are mysterious to men and necessities to women blanketed my bed. I had to pack my favourite water bottle and travel mug, a few blouses, t-shirts, dress slacks, pyjamas, a light jacket and a shawl. I would be sitting in a heavily airconditioned conference centre for most of the week. Of course, my small electronics and their gear needed to fit as well. After much rearranging, editing and repacking, I zipped my suitcase and lugged it to the front door.
During the week that I was away, my packing choices were justified. Except for a blouse, I wore each item of clothing at least once. I used all the cables and power chargers and electronics. Although I used my water bottle much more than my coffee mug, I did use both. The only items I didn’t use were the shampoo and conditioner. The hotel I stayed at provided natural, scent-free products!
At the end of the week, as I attempted to repack my suitcase, a problem arose. While at the conference, I purchased several books and DVDs. I had to get them home somehow, as well as a stack of handouts from various breakout sessions. There was no way everything was going to fit. I had choices to make.
Sometimes, the so-called essentials in life keep us from living our best life!
The first choices were easy. My shampoo and conditioner landed in the trash. A bottle of Advil was the next to go, along with a couple of lip balms. I still couldn’t zip my suitcase. Drastic measures were called for! My water bottle was taking up too much room. I loved that bottle; it matched my cane. It slipped easily into my summer purses. I could attach it to my powerchair. But it took up valuable real estate, and it had to go. I stuffed the unworn blouse along with a couple of other items in a plastic bag. I asked my friend who was driving me to the airport to drop them off at Goodwill.
By the time I finished, my priorities had shifted. What was once of value was no longer essential. My newfound treasures took their place.
In Mark 10:17-27, Jesus addressed the issue of shifting priorities with a young man of considerable means. By all accounts, this young man was an upstanding citizen and a devoted son. he was a credit to his community. Jesus sensed the young man’s earnest desire to seek after truth, and he loved him for it. It was apparent the young man held Jesus in high regard as well. And so, the Master extended the same invitation to the young man that he gave to all his disciples. “Lay down your life. Come follow me.” There was nothing new in Jesus’ demand; he had challenged Peter to set aside his career as a fisherman to become a fisher of men. There was no criticism in Jesus’ offer; he merely proposed an exchange. If the young man stepped out of his comfort zone, the treasures of heaven would be his.
The young man’s reluctance cost him dearly. There was no room in his suitcase for the eternal riches Jesus offered him that day, and it appeared he wasn’t ready to let go of the familiar.
Are there items in your heart’s suitcase that you once considered essential, but you now suspect they are hindering your spiritual growth? Perhaps it’s time to sort through those essentials with the Lord. Permit Him to do some rearranging in your heart, and He’ll make room for fresh revelation and blessings.
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Until Next Week,
©2020 Katherine Walden