When packing for a year of service with the ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission program, I stuck with what I knew: Plan for every possibility and use the maximum weight allowance to cover all the bases. Dragging nearly 150 pounds of luggage through Heathrow Airport, through miles of terminals and train connections, was one of the most miserable experiences I’ve ever had as a traveler.
A man once asked Jesus what he lacked in his faith and was told: “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21). In relying on my own efforts to plan and prepare for everything, perhaps I’d forgotten to fully trust in God’s provision.
Each passing month of service taught me new lessons about God’s faithful provision. Living simply helped me focus on the meaning of accompaniment and being fully present where I served. Scaling down my possessions allowed me to follow Jesus more closely that year.
This message is excerpted from “Traveling light” by Vanessa Young in the September 2015 Gather magazine.
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