Friday, May 30, 2014

Pilgrims' Progress #3: Jesus the Ultimate Ultralighter

Can I tell you something? 

I really love this whole ultralight backpacking thing. The nit-picking, number-crunching, over-analyzing process of deciding what I need to take on a month long pilgrimage has been a completely freeing to me.  I have labored over what/what not to include in my pack for weeks so that it can be as light as possible; I don’t want to carry a heavy burden on my back every day.  It’s so great to choose to lighten my load!  There are so many things I used to think necessary that I really don’t need—it’s wonderful to figure that out.  My life has been reduced to the just the essentials, and the sense of simplicity this provides promotes great joy in my soul.

Wouldn’t life be better if we approached it like this?  With a sense of freedom because our packs are light and are needs are small?  Reducing our worlds down to the bare minimum and choosing to let the voices of our greedy society go silent?  Wouldn’t it be great to figure out that it is ok to be satisfied with what God gives and realize that’s really all we need?  To be able to trust God with whatever he chooses to place in our lives and not be burdened with worry?

You know, Jesus was an extreme ultralighter.  He told His disciples in Luke 9, as he sent them out to proclaim the gospel, “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt.”  He knew they didn’t really need anything but him.  Their relationship to their Savior was the only thing to consider.  When he said, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” in Matthew 6, I think the ‘things’ he was referring to were all the ‘things’ we worry about, and think are necessary, like adoration, approval, and acceptance.  I think those ‘things’ weigh us down more heavily more than the actual things that we hoard.  If we choose to let go of who we think we should be and start focusing on God and who he is, we can let go of our fear of man and live the simple life of a child of God—unencumbered and free to chase joy.

Sound appealing?  Thought so.

Throw off your burden and follow your Leader, Jesus the Ultimate Ultralighter.

“Come to me, all 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

1 comment:

  1. Praying for you now! Hope Rome was fantastic. Last night Ken and I watched a documentary about a group doing the John Muir trail (with 55-79 pound bags! of equipment. ) Thought of you often.