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Quiet time

Traveling light

manuelita otero

Every time we come back from a trip, even a short one, I have the longing to clean my house and give things away. I know it may sound weird, but I guess after being away for a while I realize that there are certain things that I don’t need.  Not too long ago we moved into a small apartment and  realized how great it is to only keep what adds to our life; it feels good to simplify.  Sometimes without realizing it we end up having too many things. Unnecessary stuff not only takes up space, but it also takes our precious time as we organize, sort and clean.   Advertising bombards us with the message that getting more stuff will give us more opportunities and will make us happier, and many times we fall into that trap only to feel unsatisfied no matter how many things we get. 

We are in a culture that invites us to accumulate stuff.  Things are not bad, but placing too much importance on them makes us forget what really matters in life, such as relationships and special moments.

Many have compared life to a journey, so the question is: how can we travel light?   

- Get rid of unnecessary weight: The first thing we need to travel light is to get rid of things that are weighting us down.  It may sound obvious but it may not be as easy as it sounds because we have been carrying some of those things for such a long time that we don’t even realize it.  We may think they are a part of us that we can’t let go, or we don’t even think they are the problem. Heavy feelings tend to hide and come up when we least expect them.  They create strongholds that we think are part of our personality, or feelings we seemingly can’t do anything about.  But we can, and we need to.  “…you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” (Colossians 3:8-10) 

- Be practical: Don’t you love how practical Jesus is? While He was on earth He liked to use what was at hand to do amazing things. He turned water into wine at a wedding (John 2:1-11). He fed more than five thousand people with just five loaves of bread and two fish. (Matthew 14:17-20). He made mud mixing His saliva with the earth from the ground to give sight to a blind man. (John 9:6)  These are just some examples of many instances in which Jesus was trying to teach us that to do great things we don’t necessarily need a lot, just God because we don’t make things happen, He does. Everything we have: our things, money, connections, education, or talents are useless without God.  We may do great things, but will they have the impact God had planned? Will they leave a legacy? Will they change lives and touch souls? God guides, we obey, and He uses what He gave us to make things happen. 

- Take what you need: Many times we don’t know what our journey will require, so we may take more than we need, which may distract us and slow us down.  But when we go first to God, He tells us exactly what to take and what not to take:  “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority… He told them: ‘Take nothing for the journey – no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic.” (Luke 9:1;3) God wants us to trust Him and to be certain that He will provide exactly what we need and He will do it in very exciting ways. God loves to delight us and to surprise us.  He uses those “Impossible” situations to show us His love and power and to strengthen our faith. 

Our things don’t have power, our God does. “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.” 1 Timothy 6:7

By Manuelita