MM Travel Lightly
During our wintry weather this week, I gazed out my window at my little camper, sitting forlornly in the driveway. Covered in a thick unwelcome glaze of snow and ice, it stared back at me as if to say, “When are we going to shed this mess and go somewhere?” Ha! That’s a good question!
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28 – NIV
When you reside in a 23 ft. travel trailer for a couple of months,, you quickly learn to cut out clutter. there is just not a lot of space. Therefore, I follow my long held motto, “A place for everything, and everything in its place.”
With two small closets, nine drawers and six cabinets,space is limited to the essentials of life. No room for excess baggage. No place for any item that is not constructive or useful. If the item is rarely used or its purpose unclear, it does not enter the camper door. In fact, I am quite partial to those household goods that will do double duty like my set of nesting stainless steel bowls with plastic lids. They work great for both food prep and storage.
With each new camping season, I re-evaluate the items in my cupboards. Did I use it last year? Does it still have a worthwhile purpose? Is it still necessary to carry with us?
It occurs to me that such questions are beneficial for the start of a new year. For me, January is a time of reflection offering some quiet fireside moments to consider the events of the past year and the lessons to be learned. What am I holding onto that I need to let go? What attitudes or behaviors need to be discarded? what is cluttering up my perspective?
So often, we haul around excess baggage, unable to let go of the mistakes of the past. We hang onto our heartaches and hurt feelings, refusing to set them aside. Regret rattles around in our drawers while fear curls up in the dark recesses of our cabinets. It’s easier to keep the drawers shut and the cabinets closed than it is to bring all those past hurts out into the open and deal with them.
Sometimes, we are just too attached to the things of the past, holding on too tightly, wishing we could go back to the way things were. Perhaps you, like me, wish we could go back to pre-Covid days. I long for the days before social distancing, when a mask and hand sanitizer were not standard items in my purse. I would like to leave all that behind, but it just keeps following us around.
It’s so much easier to whine and complain than it is to take stock of our blessings and give thanks. Our lips linger on grumbling instead of gratitude. Yet, complaining constantly about our trying circumstances doesn’t change anything. It just makes the hardships harder to handle.
No matter how much we long for easier days, we don’t get to go back. Our only option is to move forward. The question is how will we travel? Will we trudge on grudgingly, burdened by worry and hampered by fear? Will we carry our resentment and regret down the road? Perhaps a better approach is to follow the powerful admonition found in Hebrews 12, “…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith…” (Hebrews 12:1b-2a, NIV).,
Run with perseverance, facing forward, eyes fixed on Jesus. That seems like some good advice for the start of a new year. After all, nothing enters my tiny camper that is not necessary or useful, so why should I let that which is not productive, instructive or praiseworthy enter my mind?
“Lord, let me travel lightly, trusting You to see me through. For Lord, You are good and Your steadfast love endures forever. Amen.”
Friends, will you join me in that simple prayer for 2022? Let us travel lightly, trusting our good and gracious God to see us through.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8 – NIV
O God of Grace and Goodness, guide us into this new year, helping us shed our excess baggage and find the better way to walk on with You. Let us lay our burdens at Your feet and find Your blessed rest. Thank You, Lord, for going with us, never leaving us nor forsaking us no matter what we must face in the future. O Lord, let us travel lightly, trusting You to see us through.
In the Faithful Name of Jesus, we pray,
New Year’s Blessings,