I leave for Russia in less than three weeks. While I won’t pack until the day I leave, I have begun to think about what to take. Last year, my wife and I chose to leave the suitcases at home and only use carry-on luggage. We took clothes that we could wear several days. That was a strategy worth repeating. This year I’m taking it a step further by deciding to leave all my books and Bibles at home. I picked up a Kindle Touch for the trip. Instead of several volumes taking up space in my backpack, I have one thin device that weighs less than half a pound. While I prefer the feel of a book, I like the idea of traveling lighter.
In much the same way that I will pack lighter for my trip, so Scripture counsels us to leave behind the sin, burdens, and worries that weigh us down as we travel through life.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. (Hebrews 12:1)
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all you anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7)
Just as packing lighter for a trip requires intentionally choosing to leave some clothes, books, and things behind, so traveling lighter through life requires the same intelligent choices of using confession and prayer to lighten my spiritual load.