Our Pastor is a real outdoorsman. He loves to go hunting, fishing and every year he takes a few men into the back country with him to spend a few days “roughing it”. Now I like to go camping, but my idea of camping is towing a fifth wheel trailer behind our truck and parking in some kind of an RV resort area where I can put up the awning, make myself a hot drink, grab a good book and know that my little house on wheels is as self-contained as a small apartment. I don’t mind “roughing it” but it only goes so far!
Pastor Dwight is different. His idea of camping is going far into the back country on horse back and taking only enough food, clothing and other essentials that will fit into a pack and will weigh no more than 75 lbs. (so the horse will not be laboured by the load). Pastor Dwight commented in his sermon on Sunday that for those young men who have never experienced that kind of outdoors experience before, that they are always in quite a dilemma what they should or should not take with them. In Pastor Dwight’s words they have three choices: “Wear it, pack it, or leave it.” The idea is that they only pack the essentials. Anything extra will just weigh them down.
Now, I thought a little bit about what I might consider “essential” if I were going on that kind of an outing. (Not saying I ever would, because it only took me seconds to realize that I would not be able to pack a week’s worth of clothes, makeup, food,… and …where in the world would I plug in my hair dryer?) My toiletries alone would put me over the 75 lb. limit.
Still I considered some essentials (other than makeup and my blow dryer) that I might take with me:
- toilet paper (nuff’ said)
- sleeping bag and pillow
- warm clothes and boots
- a hat
- eating utensils
- a compass (although in my hands it would just be an accessory…I’d have no idea how to use one)
- water canteen
- my cellphone (OK…it’s not essential, but I know I’d get about three miles into the back country and I would need it to phone my loved ones to tell them to come and get me…oh, and by the way (tee hee, Dwight)…bring the 5th wheel cuz I’ll be needing to have a warm shower!)
Still, the phrase “wear it, pack it, or leave it” has some interesting practical application for life doesn’t it?
Before we begin our journey with the Father, we have baggage. Some of us carry much more baggage with us than others. We haven’t yet learned what is essential in life yet. The Father doesn’t ask us to toss all our baggage away right off…no…He allows us to carry it along with us. Over the course of time, while traveling with Him we discover we don’t need so much of our “stuff” anymore and we start to empty the bags a little bit at a time lightening our load more and more as we learn to put our trust in the Lord and in His provision. Over time we find that we’re just hanging on to the “essentials”…His Word, His Truth, His Love.
The load is easy, the burden is light.
“Come to me all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30