This Thursday, six members of our church will go to Haiti to partner with the Matthew 28 ministry. M28 works to improve the quality of life and spread to Good News and love of Jesus Christ to the families they encounter. We’ve been blogging as we prepared, and you’re welcome to check it out here.
As I packed, I’ve really noticed the amount of stuff I’m trying to stuff into my backpack. You see, we’re taking 14 bags of items for the orphanage, school, and clinic where we’ll be, but our personal items for the 10 day journey have to fit under the seat in front of us in the plane. “Well, that’s not a lot of stuff” you say, “that’s hardly any stuff!” Which is true, sort of, but that makes it all the harder. I want to take so many things- things that I will wear, or that will make me smell or feel better… Ultimately I want things that will make me more comfortable while I’m traveling outside of my comfort zone.
And as I weighed my options, I realized again that I take for granted so much, and live with so much. Packing a small bag had become cause for great anxiety and felt like a real hardship. How sad! I’m used to such material wealth that I stress at the thought of a few days without it.
I needed a bit of perspective, and I found it in scripture. Perspective came to me in one of my least favorite passages-one that always steps on my toes, so to speak. Ah, the Holy Spirit is always working on us!
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? … So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. -Matthew 6:25-34
When stuff itself is a source or worry, it holds too high a place in your life. Neither stuff nor worries offer security. Neither stuff nor worries will change what tomorrow brings. Our Lord cares for us, and faith in that truth looks like trust. Faith in that truth looks like calm.
Can I be calm? Can I be trusting and faithful? Here’s hoping and with the help of the Lord. I’ll let you know in a few weeks. And what about you? What helps you maintain a Godly perspective in a world full of stuff?