It was my first trip to Asia and I overpacked. Halfway across the world, I abandoned a huge and heavy suitcase at the Bombay airport filled with what I had once thought to be essentials. I retrieved it a month later on my way home, not having missed a single item in the unopened bag. For the traveler, extra possessions are burdens.
You are on a journey from this world to the next. As a sojourner on planet earth, if you believe the Gospel, your “citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20). And you should travel light. Here are two of the top travel tips for lightening your load, borrowed from international travel blog sites and adapted for your interworld journey:
Packing Tip #1: Don’t waste time and space packing things you can find or purchase at your destination. This tip, helpful for international travel, is essential for your interworld journey. When you reach your homeland, you will find everything you need and much more, already paid for 2,000 years ago. What the religions and philosophies of the world hope for, the citizens of heaven can already claim as their own. In heaven, you are promised:
A supernatural body, fully insured; the most delicious interworld cuisine taken fresh from the tree of life; full ownership of your mortgage-free heavenly real-estate; unlimited light with no electric charges; free entertainment including interview opportunities with Adam and Eve, Abe Lincoln and other favorites to fill your first ten thousand years; and, above all, an atmosphere composed of the unremitting and wondrous love of God.
Packing Travel Tip #2: Limit yourself to a single suitcase or small backpack that is much smaller than you think necessary, and don’t overstuff it. This exercise brings the idea of living as citizens of heaven up-close and personal. It’s the part that requires hard adjustments for packrats like me. It is the standard of heavenly citizenship that many want to ignore, but sometimes cannot.
I have recently been forced to re-evaluate how much “stuff” I really need for my life’s journey. A few weeks ago, during North Carolina’s record-breaking rains, my basement was flooded — the very place where my wife and I store everything we never wanted to let go of and yet never use. Being forced to move it all out was like taking it all on a trip. Now we don’t want to move it all back. In assessing what we own, we are asking what owns us. In other words, we are trying to be more serious about simplifying.
Jesus traveled light. His disciples traveled light. I want to be more like them. How about you?
WP (Bill) Campbell is pastor of Hendersonville Presbyterian Church in Hendersonville, NC. He is also the Director of Scripture Awakening (ScriptureAwakening.com), which offers resources to help individuals, families, small groups, and entire churches to read, study, and live God’s Word.