As The Trip Begins

As I begin to write this morning I am awaiting the arrival of my travel buddy, my sister.  We are off for our summer adventure, this year a road trip.

We don’t have any very specific plans other than our usual plan to seek out cozy spots to read.  i realize that many wouldn’t find that very exciting!  For us, though, guilt-free pleasure reading time is more the definition of relaxation.

So, other than loading our Kobos up with books, it was a little tricky to figure out what to pack.  Would we need to dress up for anything?  Will we be hiking? Maybe both things, so one dress type outfit and the sport sneakers rather than the cute ones…

I never cease to be amazed at the directions Jesus gave the twelve before they let on their first solo ministry trips.  He didn’t provide maps, didn’t divide up the territory and assign a portion to each team.  All he said was to stay together with their travel buddies, to pack nothing and to leave a place where their message was unwelcome.  Don’t pack anything.  No food, no money, not even a change of clothes or sandals.  Imagine if someone suggested we should do that today!

Almost as surprising as Jesus’ directions, given his proven concern for their well-being, is the fact that twelve grown and self-suficient men followed the directions!  They went out and later were able to report that people did listen to them and that they had been able to heal people.  Would that have been different if they had surreptitiously tucked a little bag of spending money under their cloaks?

Clearly, I am not meaning to suggest that we shouldn’t pack a bag for our vacations.  i am, however, aware of times in my life when I have felt called to do something but left it undone because I didn’t feel equipped to do it.  I missed chances to do as I had been directed because I didn’t have my bag packed.  

“He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff, no bread, no bag, no money in their belts.” (Mark 6:8)

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