This phrase from John Denver's famous song came to mind as I addressing the (major) issue of packing for a recent trip. How can I get everything into two small suitcases, plus one rather stuffed briefcase? "He's making a list and checking it twice" isn't about Santa Claus this time. It's about Chuck, as he packs for travel to a foreign country (Africa, no less).
Shoes, socksand Deet. Don't forget the Deet. You know, that special stuff that keeps the "we beasties" from biting either day or night (bugs in Central Africa can be pretty nasty, I'm told).
The Bible cautions us to plan ahead and "Be Prepared" (a hearty "Thank you" to the Boy Scouts of America for this motto) as we face our final trip. There we read:" Be always ready, for you know neither the day nor the hour" (Luke 12:40) when your final trip begins.
I will need some pants, shirts, a belt, etc. Meanwhile the Bible speaks of putting on "garments of right living".
Then there is the reminder from childhood"Did you brush your teeth? Don't forget your tooth brush." Make certain your mouth is clean. How is my speech? Does it reflect my destinationor my place of departure? Again the Scriptures say that we should "let your speech be with grace, seasoned with salt".
Soap -- now don't forget to take the soap along. Somehow in the middle of everything else -- making friends, renewing acquaintances, re-telling the of old stories, hearing some new ones, walking in the rain -- we forget that we get our feet dirty. There is nothing like some good water and soap to get cleaned up again. This reminds me. One year, when one of our sons returned from a week at camp. Friend Wife asked him if he had found his soap. "No" was the reply, "Where was it packed?" To which question Mom replied: "Whywrapped in the wash cloth." Oops!
How often, in our hectic lives, do we become so engrossed in all the paraphernalia of living that we forget to make proper preparation for the final trip? After all, when we are prepared, we can enjoy the waitand life while we wait.
Charles G. Thornton is Pastor-at-Large of Peninsula Grace Brethren Church, 44175 Kalifornsky Beach Road, Soldotna, AK 99669 (Sunday Worship - 11:00 a.m., Bible Classes - 9:30 a.m.)
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