I guess you could say I have become a pro at "backpacking". No, I do not mean "backpacking" as in traveling throughout Europe. I mean, backpacking as in this whole summer I seemed to have never stayed in one place for longer than a week at a time. It's made for a lot of quick lessons that I'll pull out my backpack any time I travel.
This lesson is to travel light. There's no quirky story to go a long with this lesson but there are quite a few reasons and reminders as to why I shouldn't over pack...
5 Reasons for not overpacking:
1. You'll get back problems if you don't travel light. Your body wasn't meant to carry another body around at all times. So don't pack a duffle bag that weighs more than a human -- otherwise you'll be rubbing your neck and shoulder out for a week.
2. You will look like a tourist. Maybe that's what you want. But if you're trying to get somewhere in a timely manner, its best to blend in and walk with the crowd moving in one direction. A big bag doesn't allow you to do that very efficiently without being that tourist hitting everyone a long the way.
3. You will get places faster. Believe me, this one is true. Let's begin with the time saved from not packing so much -- you can spend more time with people before you leave. Now let's talk about the time you save from trying to fit through doors because your bag is so awkwardly overlarge. Lastly lets talk about the time saved from taking escalators and/or elevators because your bag is too heavy to run up stairs with. Not only are you wasting time but you're wasting precious physical activity -- Hello obese epidemic in America!
4. You will do the world a favor. And by "world" I mean the countless people you run into on public transportation. If you're that one person with the big bag, you become that one person that is taking an old ladies seat. And why? Because the bag is too big to put in your lap. So you take the old ladie's seat. The business man has to get up to let her sit down. He gets grumpy and doesn't care to let people pass him. Then everyone gets backed up. And they're all staring at you. Because of your big bag. Don't be that person.
5. You never know what's going to change. With carrying too much stuff, you cannot as quickly go if a plan changes or give of yourself if someone calls. If I was too worried about getting my stuff put together or weighed down by my belongings, I wouldn't have been able to meet with a friend in need. I wouldn't have made it to spend extra time with my grandparents when my great-grandfather passed. There wouldn't be room in my car to give a friend a lift to work so she didn't have to walk in the rain. This past summer I've learned that packing light doesn't only have to do with my belongings, but has a lot more to do with a willingness to pack less of myself so that I can go where God calls. My home is in heaven and the treasures are being stored up there. The less things I pack around as I roam this earth, by God's grace alone, the more treasures may be stored for eternity's sake.
In a world so obsessed with stuff that defines an identity of a person, my prayer is that I may hold virtues that affect eternity more closely than I hold my possessions. My prayer is that I may trust in Him for daily guidance, clothing, and food instead of depending on my own strength. And the greatest thing of all? I am only beginning to understand how to pack light.
The Bible will always say it better...
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."
I like to talk.