Packing light? Not my strong suit. Umbrella, snacks, lucky rock—be (over)prepared, that’s my motto. And find someone strong to carry your stuff.
Dreamer (my strong husband) mastered packing, years ago. Born to roam, he craves adventure. Every few months he pries this homebody loose from her office chair.
I grouse about leaving home again, grumble about packing chores. Then we encounter wonders. Risk. Occasional revelations.
Which means packing
Abram’s wife, Sarai, was about my age when asked to pull up her tent pegs and hit the road (never to return). How did she know what to take? What to leave behind?
Maybe God sent an instructive dream to focus her mind as well as her packing. And grace to help her surrender the beloved familiar. Plus faith to anticipate, rather than dread, the unknown.
My (favorite) recurring dream
Our house has an empty spare room, and it’s mine! Antiques I’ve never seen before overcrowd the garage (don’t I wish), which I get to arrange, solely to suit my eccentric taste. Oh joy!
Then I wake up.
Maybe Sarai dreamed “a tent of her own”: fine weavings hung against goatskin walls, a ring of twelve polished stones for a traveling hearth. A space to retreat—free for a while from sifting chaff, scraping hides, grinding grain between slabs of rock.
I like to think God helped her prepare for irreversible changes. Shared desert wisdom. Travel tips. So I take out notebook and pen.
What might Sarai have learned?
What my imagination supplies by way of answers sounds a lot like joy. It’s advice from an optimist. The words also speak to my longer journey ahead, into the unknown world of book tours, sales, and promotion (more packing).
Here are mindsets worth leaving behind. And attitudes worth taking on.
On packing light
1 Believe you are never too old to embrace something new.
2 Anticipate wonders—including the risky kind.
3 Leave behind the habitual; that’s how you make space for fresh ideas.
4 Celebrate new words and ways of doing things; collect them, as you would opals, or pearls.
5 Accept that no journey-mate is ideal.
6 Watch for wellsprings among the dry spots.
7 Create oasis, wherever you camp.
8 Surrender your urge to be perfect. Be real.
9 Sarai might add, “befriend camels”:
- those who go the distance
- those who kneel
- those who know when to spit
Live clean. Stay current. Keep cool.
Packing it in
I know Dreamer will carry my suitcase. I’m already lightening my mental baggage.
MAKE IT PERSONAL: What are you ready to leave behind? What will you set in motion?