“Savin’ the Back” Packin’
By: Donna Haug
September 1, 2003
Imagine you are going on a camping trip for a few days with a group of friends. You will be canoeing for four hours (if all goes well). Part of the schedule is a one day hike inland, spending the night there, and hiking back out the next day. At the end of the weekend you must canoe back all four hours (if all goes well). How would you pack?
What if you tried to bring all the comforts of home? Let’s try to squeeze into your backpack your big fluffy pillow – can’t live without that! You never know what the temperature is going to be like so you’d better take lots of sweaters and an extra pair of runners in case the ones you are wearing get wet. Don’t forget your umbrella in case of rain! You need your toiletries, including your blow dryer and curling iron. Absolutely essential, of course, the hairspray! Ok, let’s see … You’ll need bug spray, sun tan lotion, and naturally, perfume! Oh yes! FOOD! Better prepare some macaroni and cheese to take along as well as a roast beef dinner. What kind of backpack would you need by the end of this packing job? You’d need a new back too!
Ok, say your reason overcomes your temporary insanity. How would you really pack? No, staying home is NOT an option! You would most likely pack the bare necessities, knowing you will have to CARRY this load with you on a long hike. You would also line your backpack in a large plastic bag – just in case your canoe tips over! You wouldn’t want to have wet clothes and shoes all weekend. Your choice of clothing would be pared down to the most versatile and lightweight possible. Beauty is NOT high priority, ladies, so there’s no room for fancy clothes, blow driers or perfume! Mosquitoes LOVE perfume! People have been known to survive on wild berries and the fish they catch on the trip, but I would not recommend that route! You’ll have to take food but you’d better plan on quick and easy “add water and wait” kind of foods. Naturally, you will take back OUT any garbage you brought IN with you! Your backpack will still be heavy enough but you’ll be glad you didn’t take the extras! It would weigh you down, tire you out quickly and most of it would be useless out there anyway!
So, that brings us to the serious question. How much baggage are you lugging around on your Christian journey? Are you stuffing unforgiveness, guilt, fear and anger into your spiritual backpack? Are those physical comforts which seemed SO indispensable going to travel with you all the way to your final destination? Will you be content to just pile more and more things into your bag, not caring if half of it is hanging out?
We are pilgrims on a journey. The journey is long, my friend. The road can be narrow and rough. Are you going to make your trip unbearable by loading yourself down with unnecessary baggage, garbage and frills? Or will you do your best to make the trip enjoyable by living a life as simply as you can and lending a helping hand to your fellow travelers? You can trust the Lord with your hurts and fears, allowing Him to carry those for you. He offered! Yes, the road can be long and sometimes very tiring, but take time to enjoy the view! Allow the fresh air to penetrate your lungs! Enjoy sweet times of fellowship by the campfire and as you walk along the way! One day, we will reach the end of our journey. We will lay our backpacks down at our Lord’s feet. He will welcome us home at last and the banquet will be the most luscious affair you have ever tasted! The company promises to be most exquisite. It will be worth it all! So come on! Grab your backpack. Dump out a few things if you need to. We will make it together and we will enjoy the journey! Can I help you carry your pillow? I don’t mind! Really!