As I have begun to pack my bags for what seems the umpteenth time in just a matter of weeks, I have begun to consider what it means to be prepared.
You know, at this time of year, as we border on winter/spring I have to shove two seasons of clothes into a suitcase. I don't know what the weather will be from one day to the next, and in order to be prepared, I have to be prepared for whatever might come my way.
I also have to make room in my overcrowded brain for lists of things imperative to remember to bring. Medicines, School books, favorite toys, underclothes, toothbrushes, pajamas... and the list goes on.
I don't just have to be ready for the unknown- I must be prepared for what I know I need.
I have to admit, as I shove left-out little boy pajama tops, and forgotten hot wheel cars into every hidden crevice of my suitcase, that these preparations feel overwhelming. I have done it often enough that it should be second nature, but it never is.
Just as I think I have everything taken care of, I remember the daily meds left in the medicine cabinet or the fact that my favorite jeans are in the washer.
Just as I take my first exit, I remember that I had pulled our toothbrushes out of the travel bag for one last cleaning and forgot to put them back.
It happens so often that I call those my "UGH moments".
And so, I think about what it means to be prepared for this ridiculously HUGE journey that my family is called to take. I think about that ridiculously long list of "things-that-must-be-done" that is floating around in my head.
Call this pastor
Find the number for that church
write a newsletter
post an updated prayer list
sell the house
store our belongings
figure out what to take and what to leave behind
find a home for our beloved family pet
pray for Ecuador, and for El Sendero. Pray for our future co-workers
get the last of our vaccinations
take care of the visa
And, so the list goes. And just like preparations for a small trip, these preparations can easily become overwhelming. What do I do first? What can be done now, and what can be done tomorrow? Have I forgotten anything?
And in the midst of it all- I am reminded that the God I serve is not one iota overwhelmed by the task He has given us. Not only is this mission worthy of the work and preparation, but God has given us everything we need to accomplish it.
What I have to remember is:
No matter what suitcase I am pulling out, no matter what set of clothes I need to pack, no matter what items I have left behind...
My God can take care of it. The known stuff, and the unknown. He knows what is going to happen, and I don't need to prepare for this trip alone.