Sometimes opinions weigh us down and hinder our spiritual life.
He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt.” Luke 9:3 (NIV)
Yes, I’ve sometimes been called out for finding spiritual applications everywhere I look. But, in light of the practical stories and slice-of-life scenes that Jesus used in His teaching, I’m in good company. I stood before the mackerel display at the Monterey Aquarium, tempted to pass it quickly. Yet another fish. Because of my husband’s passion for fishing, I’m well-acquainted with fish, their habits, their habitat, their anatomy, and . . . their taste.
The mackerel swimming past the tank window seemed ordinary. But it was the shape that formed the life lesson for me. “Smooth and streamlined, mackerel waste little effort as they swim.” So the sign near the tank told me. How much effort do I waste because I’m not streamlined? I stand in front of my closet, perplexed because I don’t know which of my many outfits I should wear that day. I open the pantry thinking about the selections in the freezer and fridge, holding up my dinner preparation because I have too many choices. I thumb through my collection of Bible study materials, debating with myself about which one I should read that day. Soon, the time for study is gone.
Jesus told His disciples to travel lean. Streamlined. We assume He wanted to prove to His friends that He was their provider. But He may also have wanted to communicate that an accumulation of options would only weigh them down and create wasted effort as they swam upstream against the religious current of the day. Noted, Jesus. Thank You.
Faith Step: Toss one extraneous item each day for a month to streamline your closet, pantry, or calendar. Note how it draws you closer to Jesus.