Monday, October 23, 2006

Coat, Backpack, Suitcase

I am preparing for a trip. And I love to travel. A great memory created for our family was our trip to the UK three and a half years ago. We took planes, trains and automobiles through England, Scotland and Wales. We reference that trip often in our conversations. I wish we could do it again just thinking about it now. At the time, our kids were 8 and 11. So we knew they could be mobile enough for all the different transportation we would be using, but we also knew we had to be smart about what we took as luggage. As we prepared, we reduced everything down to three basic components: Coat, Backpack and Suitcase. Everyone (especially my wife) could take what they wanted, just as long as it fit into these three items we would carry. When departure time came, we would recite the checklist: COAT--BACKPACK--SUITCASE, then off we would go. Getting on a train, or subway, or bus, one of us would call out the essentials. Sure enough, each of us had all three. This made traveling much simpler for all of us. Less to carry. Less to worry about, yet all we needed. The journey I am preparing for is the back half of my life. Up to now I've collected quite a few coats, backpacks and suitcases, into which I would cram neat little tokens and souveniers picked up along the way. I know I can't, nor do I need to, take all of these with me on the next leg, so I am in the process of sorting through what I want to take and what I need to leave behind. The tokens and souveniers are those ideas handed to me by people I met along my journey. They came in the form of tips and techniques to help me live a better life. They also take the shape of exhortations that I must follow, or else. I also find commands to obey, laws to fear, lists to keep, imperative thoughts to nuture. As I take time to go through all this baggage, I'm trying to condense things back down again to one coat, one backpack and one suitcase. This will be the theme of my next few posts. I hope to share my thinking of how I am trying to simplify my faith and ready myself for the journey into Uncharted Waters. to be continued...

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