As we set out on this wilderness journey, as we begin walking our winter days into spring, it matters that we pay attention. It matters now and will matter even more in the days to come that we be mindful about what we need and what we don’t need to carry.
I don’t know about you, but I am most always lugging around more than what I really need. In addition to physical possessions, I feel burdened by my emotional baggage and stressors, as well as my spiritual grief and anguish. The weight of all these bags wearies my body and spirit.
I am bad to overpack. Trip after trip, I fill my bags with just in case provisions. Trip after trip, from here to there and back again, I drag bags overstuffed with extra socks, underwear, shirts and books. Trip after trip, I come back with clothes not worn, books not opened and a back that has been strained and spent.
Maybe this 2020 journey can be lighter. Maybe on this journey my focus can be on the inside of me and not so much on the outside of me.
Laying down my burdens is as much a spiritual invitation as it is a physical one. How do I / how do we go about doing it? What does this laying-down-act require of us? Perhaps a starting place is to ask – what matters most for these next forty days? Who are we seeking? What do we hope to discover? Re-discover? To learn? Re-learn? Un-learn?
How do I pack for a trip that promises to unfold along the way? As I am just now setting out, how am I supposed to know what will be needed? What will change in me if I don’t plan for every possible need? What will happen if there isn’t much planning at all, but instead my prayer is to be stay awake for this journey?
What if it’s as easy and as hard as paying attention? Left foot, right foot. What if this is the time to be open to receiving what is to be given? What if I step out with less and feel that soon my back is a bit straighter, my eyes and heart wide open, that my stride is strong and steady? No longer dragging my worn-out bag of just in cases,’ just bringing me – the inside me, the lighter me, the less burdened me, the heart of me. Left foot, right foot.