I was thinking about ipods the other day. More specifically, I was reflecting on my first eighty gig classic ipod purchase and how everything for several days seemed to revolve around how I could organize my entire music library perfectly for this new gadget. After days of tireless laboring, I had a fully furnished and elaborately categorized itunes library. Several years down the road with this ipod and it seemed that I hadn’t even engaged in the project.
You see, my ipod has a lot of space. It’s not the newest model and doesn’t even boast the best features of the currents apple gizmos. However, its eighty gigabyte storage capacity is quite sufficient to stash my music: I have all of my tunes within a pocket's reach and unlimited access to all the music I have owned since Jars of Clay came out with their self-titled album in middleschool. Really, that’s just it: I likely haven’t used ninety percent of what’s available on there. How sad to have access to all of that and not be able to use it all, even if I wanted to!
Then it occurred to me that much of my life has been lived this way in the past. I go out and gather all my information, my resources, my materials, and then I horde them into a massive pile of information, much like a squirrel gathers nuts for the winter. Then when I’ve successfully accomplished all this, I am ready to move on with life--to tackle all that life throws at me. However, it’s not so easy to move on when I am lugging a hibernation-size pile of preparation in my knapsack. I don’t know if you’re similar in this but I’ve always sighed with relief when I feel that I am prepared. However, I’ve been finding lately that I have quite a bit more than I need to adequately face the challenges of life. And therein lies the problem.
I’m reminded of Jesus telling the disciples to go out and not take anything extra with them. Everything was to be provided along the way. What excitement there must have been (if not a little anticipation) to not know where your next meal was coming from or if you’d have enough money to cover your expenses to live! However, there was always enough. God always provided. Remember the feeding of the five thousand with just a couple of fish and a few loaves?
And so I’m reminded of my own journey. How often do I form an extensive itinerary of what I think needs to be done in order to ensure survival? Do I really need to spend days on my itunes library of life, something for which I won’t even access the majority of in the future? Or do I trust the great counsellor to tell me what I need to (or what not to) pack for the journey?
I know that since coming home from Australia in July, things have looked different for my journey than I expected. I really didn't foresee coming home that soon. However, I felt God was leading me home, and therefore the path was good. How I would have prepared differently if I had known this change and move would come so suddenly! I'm convinced that living "lighter" and less attached to the stuff of life during that season in Australia would have made the transition smoother and the time there even more rewarding. You know, all the "to-do" lists, the jobs, the events, the various extras that get chucked into the mix and tend to complicate things. But with God's hand upon this change and an extra seasoning of grace, I'm in a new and beautiful season, one offering new perspectives and insights on the journey thus far.
And so in this new season, I am reminded that perhaps the holy spirit can see what I need a bit better than I can. In trusting him with my schedule, day, and priorities first, he will tell me what is truly important for that day, month, year. Then when I need to access the itunes library of preparation, I will have just what I need when I need it, for I have packed according to what my all-knowing guide has prescribed for the journey.