This week I am spending time with the second chapter "The Practice of Packing Lightly." The scripture for this week is Genesis 12: 1,2:
"The Lord said to Abram: Go forth, from your land, your relatives, and from your father's house to a land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing."
It starts with GO and the reflection of the week is what do we take with us when we are going? We just got back from a trip to Put N Bay visiting with some old friends Pam and Gene Zajak who now live there. And before we left I had to consider what I was going to bring - since we were on the ferry. I knew I needed to pack lightly.
There was something about getting on the ferry that seemed freeing. We were with Jim and Holly and she said that they call it "leaving America." And there was a sense of leaving our worries and our old life behind. Our visit was relaxing and we not only got to "sight see" (is that a great word?) but fish, sit by a fire, be with friends and most importantly appreciate beauty in nature. . One of the greatest blessings was just sitting on their porch and watching the birds and squirrels in their back yard. They have been very intentional about creating a space for them and I cannot overstate how relaxing it was just to sit and watch the colors, the antics, the wonder of it all.
As we left, I thought I need to bring some of this back with me. I want to "sight see" and appreciate what is right in front of my eyes. So yesterday I spent some time just cleaning MY back porch and making it comfortable. We have bird feeders in the back yard and attract squirrels as well. But the difference is whether I really take the time to see.
I want to go with the flow. And the flow for me right now seems to be a continual reminder about letting go and creating space for God to do God's work. The creating space does mean freeing up time and being intentional about my stuff as well. It is interesting that at the same time as I am reading this book my daughter Audrey is coming to visit. We want to create space for her in our home which means - emptying some closets and getting rid of what really is extraneous. Lately God seems to be getting my attention about various accumulations of my life. So, right now I have a car full of old clothes which are going to good will so that there is more space.
We let go and at the same time need to consider what to carry with us on this pilgrim journey. The author writes: "One traditional symbol for the pilgrim's journey is the scallop shell. The grooves on the shell represent the different journeys we take as pilgrims. Just as all the separate grooves meet at the end of the shell, so do all of our paths meet in the same place. The journey of a pilgrimage is about returning home with a new awareness of what home really means."
So, Saturday I took the ferry home and felt ready to return home and "Go with the Flow" - that is God's flow.
And here is a picture of what I saw this morning as I sat in my back yard - a candle burning, a bird at the feeder and a scallop shell hanging decoration that I never really saw before.
A Journey Prayer
pitch your tent with mine,
so that i may not become deterred
by hardship, strangeness, doubt,
Show me the movement I must make
toward a wealth not dependent on possessions,
toward a wisdom not based on books,
toward a strength now bolstered by might,
toward a God not confined to heaven.
Help me to find myself as I walk in other's shoes.
- Prayer song from Ghana