“Pack” is a four letter word, and when it’s spoken at home as to what we have to do – again – I want to plug my ears to keep it out. I’ve packed/unpacked eight times in the last five months. All but two were ministry trips involving tedious drives through the high sierras.
Unzipping the empty suitcase with my emotions kicking and screaming on the inside this morning, I began to think about what I need to pa**…uh, yeah. Which is another thing I told Mike last night: packing is mentally taxing. Thinking about what to wear, counting out how many days we’ll be there, wondering if I should take work-out clothes, or a bathing suit in case we’ll have an hour or so to cool off in the oppressive and humid heat of the coast.
(This in contrast to the cold-front we’ve had in the central mountain valley where we live. The other night it dipped into the upper 30’s, and when your house doesn’t have any source of heat, it’s c-c-c-cold! We layer on the blankets and I keep my warm fuzzy robe close by.)
We finished packing, hopped in the car and took off. It was about three hours into the trip that the Holy Spirit gently tapped me on the shoulder and helped me change my attitude.
We had been listening to several Focus on the Family podcasts and they really spoke to me! One was of a blind, handicapped young man whose inspiring life story preaches living life to the fullest, since every day is a gift from God. Another one was of two people touching lives in simple ways through acts of kindness and obedience.
My heart was pricked and began to give thanks for the opportunity God has given us to serve Him. Even if it means packing and traveling again. His grace is sufficient and His strength is available when we ask.
No, my mind wasn’t changed about what I think about packing and traveling. Though I continue to dislike it tremendously, there is something greater at work, something more crucial than what I may or may not like.
When I pray for the women who will be at the conference tomorrow, and again on Saturday in another city five hours away, or when I pray for the people who will gather to celebrate their church’s anniversary for which we are preaching on Sunday, in my heart I know the sacrifice will have been worth it.
Changed lives and encouraged souls take eternal precedence over my trifle woes.