Too Many Distractions
Luke 9:3 - "Jesus told them: Take nothing for the journey - no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic."
Lately God has been talking to me, again and again, about purpose. He's been challenging me to treat each day as if it is filled with purpose, to be resolute in my determination to achieve each day's purpose, and to seek out ways to fulfill my purpose.
Which is awesome.
And also totally overwhelming.
Let's face it. Most days are just filled with work, and laundry, and dishes, and kids, and email, and running errands. Purpose? It's a far cry away from my usual life.
And when all the day's work is done, and I'm just collapsing onto the couch to watch another episode of whatever Netflix series is currently consuming me, the last thing I want to do is examine my day and see if I made a point to inject purpose into it.
I can barely keep track of signing my daughter's homework planner. (Sorry about that, Ms. Johnson. I'm working on teaching her to forge my signature though, so we might get this taken care of for the future.)
There are days when, truthfully, I COULD NOT HAVE FIT A SINGLE OTHER THING into it. These are run yourself ragged, barely catch a breath, eat standing up, cry from exhaustion kind of days. How do I have time to fit purpose into that?
Yet knowing what God's called you to do (your purpose) and remembering to serve Him with whatever you do is important. And if I don't have the time or energy to have days filled with purpose, then perhaps my days are just filled with too much... stuff.
In Luke 9, when Jesus calls the 12 disciples together, He fills them with their purpose. He gives them "power and authority" to fulfill their purpose, and then He sends them out to achieve it. But them He gives them this interesting command.
He says, "Take nothing with you."
Which is weird, if you think about it. He gives them purpose, He sends them out on a journey to fulfill that purpose, and then He tells them not to take or pack anything with them when they go. They weren't allowed to carry a bag, a staff, not even food, money or clothes.
I've heard that verse explained by many people smarter than I, and normally they explain it like this: Jesus wanted the disciples to carry nothing with them so that they were completely dependent on God's power, and they were walking examples of the miraculous.
But I'm wondering today if another really good reason for that command is that Jesus knew all those things - money, clothes, bags - were just distractions from their purpose.
If even ONE of those disciples were anything like me, then there's a chance they'd find themselves on the road out of town, only to realize they'd left their bag at the last house they visited, and have to go back to get it.
I've been known to lose my keys in a store, not be able to find them again, and need my husband to come pick me up. I go through more wallets and credit cards than I can count. Even now, sitting in my office and typing, I'm painfully aware of the fact that I left my phone at home again. I carry 2 bags with me wherever I go; one to carry my multiple makeup components (that I usually put on while driving), and one to carry my laptop, breakfast, mail, kid's soccer cleats, and a smooshed banana that I discover at the bottom of the bag one day too late.
|This is the rug I need!|
What if the reason that Jesus told his disciples not to bring anything with them was because the more things we are responsible for, the less we can focus on the only things that matter - His voice, His purposes, and being a part of bringing His kingdom on earth.
What if the reason my days are too busy to have any purpose is because I carry too many things around with me? Literally; groceries, purses, phones, backpacks, sports bags, library books, laundry baskets. And figuratively too: bitterness, resentment, people pleasing, the need for acceptance, the desire for achievement, insecurity, rejection.
What if God is telling me to take nothing on this journey?
Truthfully, I don't know how this plays out in real life. I don't know how to downsize, simplify, and carry less around with me. But I'm encouraged by the other people who have attempted this life-overhaul. And I'm starting to reexamine my daily activities to look for all the things that I can cut out.
And I'd like to hear from any of my sisters who have heard the call to "take nothing with you" and who are living a purpose-filled life. Share your stories and secrets with me here. As soon as I can spare a minute, I'll read them. =)