Lessons From a Sojourner’s Voyage
- Tuesday, December 17, 2013
These were his instructions: "Take nothing for the journey except a staff - no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra tunic. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town” (Mark 6:8-10).
I’ve read this passage a number of times over the decades since giving my life to Christ. Each time, I envision His disciples with some trepidation in their eyes, the vastness of the Judean countryside and harsh conditions surrounding it (especially on foot), the “lack” of necessary provisions (since I’m a huge planner type) and the thought, “What if I’m asked to do that?”
Not to think even for a moment I have had to withstand any aspect of those difficult conditions or been as faithful as His disciples were to do so; however over the past year when asked “Where are you living these days?” my response has been “I am basically homeless.”
By “homeless” I mean I don’t have a “permanent residence,” as can be attested by my three Post Office boxes across the country. I understand, to the spiritual police, there is no such thing as a “permanent residence” until eternity, but for all intents and purposes, I have not had a specific personal “home” to go to each evening, thus no “earthly” permanence.
I’m not in any way seeking pity or handouts of any sort since this has been, for the most part, by my choice, and from what I see to be God’s leading.
I have been traveling on “tour” with a number of different artists for the majority of the last eighteen months, and have been “residing” on tour buses, in hotels, on red-eye flights, and in the homes of family and friends.
I was not without bread, bag or money (or even an extra tunic); nevertheless, in some small way I have been able to learn a few lessons from my temporary situation and experience what I believe Jesus was trying to teach me.
Primarily since I enter this holiday season with the heaviness of the recent loss of my brother, I have gained a fresh new perspective of what’s important in life and in eternity.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal" (Matthew 6:19-20).
As I begin the difficult road of going through and cleaning out a loved one’s possessions, I am prompted to consider what of my things are just "treasures on earth," discover what has already been destroyed "by moth and rust," and what items are actually necessary in the bigger scheme of life.
One of the most refreshing revelations I made during my “homelessness” is the logistical realization that I couldn’t buy (or collect) anything since I didn’t have anywhere to put it. As a result I didn’t just go to stores to see what I could “find” and had to clearly determine the difference between what was really necessary and those things I just wanted.
It reminds me of when I purchased a home several years ago and had friends come over to visit. They noticed something out of the ordinary for a house in our society - empty space. I actually had rooms with minimal to no furnishings and a couple of closets without anything in it. At the time, I almost felt a “need” to accessorize and try to fill those spaces.
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