|“We don’t know where you’re going? How can we know the way?”|
Ever asked that question before? This week? On a trip?
Did you ask it because you weren’t listening? You were confused? Or you were maybe even afraid?
Thomas (the disciple) asked it along time ago to Jesus directly after Jesus just told him that he was going to prepare a place for him.
I think Thomas heard him. I think Thomas wasn’t confused. I think he was probably afraid.
I just got back from a quick 20-hour backpacking over night with my friend Jeff. He’s a hiker, backpacker and now a runner. I’m just a runner. I occasionally hike when Michelle says we’re hiking that day and I only really backpack down to Haiti, but also have two carry-on full of supplies with me. For this quick and cold trip, I was going to try out my first night of sleeping in a hammock below 30 degrees. So Jeff sent me a list of stuff to pack.
I put it together quickly Tuesday morning along with the supplies he sent over to my house to carry in my backpack to get me through the cold night in my hammock (that was last used in Haiti, which is a tad warmer). Then I added about 4 pairs of warm socks, extra shoes, extra warm clothes, two pairs of gloves/hats and chemical warmers (“hot hands” – nothing illegal). A full pack for sure of 35 pounds of “stuff” (along with food and Campfire Malt Beverages) for the 7 mile r/t hike and one night. Way more weight than I needed.
I didn’t use most of the cold gear, which he said I wouldn’t need, but I threw in anyhow. As we sat by the fire at night he told me story after story of taking people out into the woods hiking or overnight and the incredible abundance of “extras” they would bring with them that only weighed them down, slowed their hike and blistered their shoulders because of extra weight. When the hardest hill climbs came, I was doing them with weigh I didn’t need but chose to bring anyways. He sent me list. And I didn’t trust it and threw in a ton of extra stuff.
And then he said one of the most profound things I’ve heard in awhile: “People pack their fears.”
People pack their fears. We pack our fears.
I packed mine. Thomas packed his.
We grab extra stuff along the way, question the lists along the way and second guess the gifts along the way…sometimes out of our own fears. I was afraid I’d be too cold last night. Jeff wasn’t. He had a list for me and a back-up plan as well. Thomas was afraid of what would come next. Jesus wasn’t. He had a vision to give his life and a back-up plan as well.
People pack their fears.
What fears are you packing? What fears can you allow yourself to take out of your pack knowing that God’s didn’t have those on your list and you don’t need them. They are only blistering you. Slowing you down. Weighing on you during your hill climbs?
(By the way, to Thomas’ question about “we don’t know the way,” Jesus said “don’t worry, I’ve got that covered, I am the way and the truth and the life.” There’s God’s list.)
God’s already got it packed. We don’t need to add the weight.
Lord, thanks for taking the weight for us. Help us to not pack out of fear. Amen
Still in One Peace,