Daily Devotions
 
Daily Devotion
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

Preparing for a week away at camp is always a bit complicated.  What do we bring and what to we leave behind?  Do we entertain the kids in the car with tablets or games & toys?  Or maybe we bring both.  How many pairs of shoes?  What types of shoes?  Rain jackets or umbrellas or both?   What types of snacks do we bring?  How many hats?  Pants or shorts or both?  And the list goes on and on and on.  Many times, we actually have to go to he store to buy more stuff just to go to camp.

Jesus famously sent his disciples out to preach and heal the sick with only the clothes on their back: “He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics” – Mark 6:7-9.  Here I am loading up tablets, car activities, 10 lbs of snacks, 4 gallons of water, two large duffel bags full of clothing, the kitchen sink, and anything else I can fit into the car for less than a six-hour drive and a week away in a lodge with air conditioning where all our meals are provided to us.  

A couple of weeks ago, I went on a camping trip at the Big South Fork with my daughter Sophia.  I told her we were going to keep it simple:  easy meals, basic clothing, and no electronics besides my cell phone.  In the past, I had allowed a lot more to be brought along.  

What I learned by keeping it simple was that by limiting my stuff, I was able to do more.  Setting up camp was quick.  I didn’t have to rummage around through my tubs to find what I needed.  We didn’t waste a lot of time prepping food or deciding on what to eat.  Instead of spending a large amount of time cooking a fancy camp meal, we were able to eat quick and get to our hiking destinations early.  Back at camp, I was able to relax in my hammock and stare up at the trees while Sophia read her book in the tent.  I found rest and rejuvenation in the simplicity and quiet.

Packing simple was a great reminder that I can also live simple in everyday life.  Having more stuff means maintaining more stuff.  It means having a bigger house or storage spaces to keep that stuff.  It means more of my income is going into things.  Living more simply means that I have more freedom to live out the life that Jesus is calling me to live.

Hopefully this week, I’ve left enough stuff at home.  That the burden of stuff on my back will be light and I’m able to walk freely with God in the mountains of North Carolina.

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