Leaving Home

Travel lightly – carrying neither weighty luggage nor burdensome preconceptions.

(Welleran Poltarnees, A Travel Blessing, Seattle, WA: Laughing Elephant Books, 2000, p4)

 After ten years living next to us, our neighbors are moving tomorrow. Our guest dog of a couple of months, Montana, left Monday afternoon. Our neighbors are staying a town away for a year, then heading to the West coast; Montana and her family move to Arkansas tomorrow.

Boxes are changing hands. Paint supplies that won’t be moving West are here, a layover on the way to creating a youth room at Christ Church. Montana’s red crate went home with her, packed with a blanket, snacks, and the line we bought for her use in the back yard. There are outgrown clothes, items for an upcoming yard sale, and books collected for the library, all set to go. Lots of things are moving to a new life elsewhere. Paring down makes traveling easier, and it also makes staying at home easier; letting go of the burden of unnecessary things is a life skill for travel and a blessing when practiced at home.

My mother says that what we own owns us. It takes time, energy, and attention to enjoy, employ, and maintain our things. Weighty luggage is weighty luggage, to go or to stay. Too many things or too many preset ideas trip us up or block our view, and our world shrinks to the size of our material and ideological stuff. There’s little room to breathe and no room to welcome others. Living lightly and traveling lightly grows our world, making room for ourselves and others. Perhaps that’s why Jesus sent his followers on their way with just their clothes and good news of God’s kingdom – light as a feather and vast as the cosmos.

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

2 thoughts on “Leaving Home”

  1. “…our world shrinks to the size of our material and ideological stuff”–wow! The more the merrier gives way to the more the shrinkier. It seems throughout the ages the holiest of people had the fewest “stuff”. I love that you included ideological stuff here. When we are packed tightly to the brim how dare we take on any new/different ideas. See you shortly.

    1. I think that’s true – the ones with the least “stuff” are most able to live a deep life – Stuff being things and perspectives that do not expand the spirit…peace, Johnna

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