Picture this: someone is gathering belongings for her vacation, busily packing a swim suit, towels, sunscreen, boogie board, rubber flip flops. When she’s all prepared, she joins her fellow vacationers, only to find out they’re setting out on a snow skiing trip.
Whoops. Seems like someone forgot to ask an important question.
If you don’t know where you’re going, then how can you prepare yourself for the journey?
Where do you believe you’re going with this one life you’ve been given? We all have an answer to that question. If you’re not sure what your answer is, then look at your actions, because we always act based on what we believe.
What drives your thoughts, financial plans and schedule each day? Whatever you’re spending your effort “packing” indicates where you think you’re going. Isn’t it important to be sure you’re spending your time packing the right stuff?
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. Noone comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14). Those of us who believe that statement spend our time checking with Him to pack the appropriate things for our journey.
Here’s a list of a few items in my bag:
Confession – I have had to give up the idea that my view of the world is 100% correct and name the ways I have been getting it wrong. That means I have to cast away pride, because if I’m packing pride, confession won’t fit.
Repentance – I need to correct my behavior and attitudes to match up with what God says is true. Spending time reading God’s Word and with other believers will help keep me honest with this, if I let them (again, no room for pride).
Forgiveness – When I confess and repent, God is faithful to forgive me (1 John 1:9), and He expects me to share with others what He has given to me. I have to remove revenge to make room for forgiveness, and I have needed help from other people and wise counselors to learn how it fits. In the process, I have had to repack confession and repentance, and try again with forgiveness. The church word for this process is sanctification, and it’s really pretty annoying. I just want to get it right and keep it that way. But, then, forgiveness can be shared with myself, too.
Thanksgiving – This is the most versatile item. The Bible says it like this: “rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5). It’s appropriate in all circumstances. It’s the little black dress for life. Thanksgiving can look like singing, dancing, prayer, enjoyment with other people, quiet moments alone – it can take almost any form and be practiced any time. The more thanksgiving I pack, the more space seems to be freed up for my other items. It’s like the TARDIS that way.
If I spend my time and energy packing these items, I will be equipped for where I’m going, because I’m going to be with my Father in Heaven.
Won’t you join me?