Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.” Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere.
My purse is filled to maximum capacity. Everywhere I go people suggest I carry a bigger bag to fit all of my things in. Though I appreciate the suggestion, I have come to realize no matter how big of purse I decide to use, I will fill it up to maximum capacity. I love making sure I have everything I need. The more, the merrier!
“Take nothing for the journey.”
What a powerful statement. In today’s world, we often have the idea that we need to have a lot of things to survive. We have smartphones, computers, iPads, cameras, chargers, and all kinds of devices we feel like we need with us at all times. While all of these devices can be used for good, the overemphasis on being connected 24/7 is driving many of us crazy. It is extremely difficult to focus when our phones are constantly going off and we are receiving text, email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram notifications nonstop.
Why were the Apostles instructed not to take anything along for the journey? Perhaps it was a trust exercise. Moreover, I wonder if Jesus thought bringing along excess items would distract the Twelve from focusing on their journey and from completing the tasks they needed to accomplish?
What about us? Do we trust that God will provide for us? Which one of our possessions is the most distracting to us? What material item(s) are we filling our lives with and how can we use that space and fill it with God?
In which areas of your life is God calling you to “take nothing for the journey?” Is there something you need to cut back on using? A certain type of food you need to stop eating? A certain habit you need to abandon? Don’t be afraid to leave excess things (whether it be tangible or intangible) behind in order to be fully attentive and fully embrace this journey of life. It is not easy, but don’t become discouraged. Ask for the grace and strength to let go! You will be blessed in that prayer.