Two Ways Of Unpacking
One of the things that keeps me from wanting to take trips is the thought that at the end of the vacation, I am going to have to unpack. Sometimes when we get back at the end of a trip I unpack right away. I throw everything in the laundry, load up all the kids with the stuff they need to take upstairs, put all the shoes and junk in its right place (A.K.A the trash can). I get excited as I look at all the new stuff we got on our trip to remember it by. Even though I also get completely grossed out by all the dirt and grime that was acquired along the way, I breathe a sigh of relief because it all gets dealt with right then and there. It's done! I can rest easy knowing tomorrow is a new and fresh day.
But other times I look at that bag and feel so overwhelmed that I decide to tackle it the following day. Then, of course, tomorrow turns into the next day, which turns into the next week, which can even turn into the following month. Everyday I look at that suitcase, I feel the same anxiousness I felt the moment we got home, followed by a second feeling of disgust and self-loathing where I mentally say ugly things to myself. It's usually around then that I decide I better do something about it.
Unpacking Is A Spiritual Practice
Our spiritual journeys are no different. Every day we carry baggage. Along the way we collect junk and add to it. A lot of the time we don't even realize it's there. We find ourselves at the end of the day feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, worried, annoyed, angry. We don't really know what to do with all of it so we simply fall asleep carrying it all with us. It's no surprise we wake up having added dread to the weight of all the other feelings we were harboring.
But there is such good news. Just like we have to unpack our suitcases when we get home from a trip, we have to unpack our mental, emotional, and spiritual baggage. I would even suggest that this be a daily practice. At the end of the day, it is incredibly cathartic to go over your day with God. This can be done in a journal or simply through a prayer. I like to think of prayer like a ladder. I start at the bottom in my fear, frustration, and worry, and as I invite God in, talk to Him, ask for His thoughts, claim who He is in the situations, I take a step up towards peace and another step up towards joy and another step up towards love. It would be foolish of me to think I could get to love on my own by simply jumping. I have to travel each step and as I do, I let go of the burdens and replace them with God's light.
Don't Give Up
This journey is not an easy one and can feel like a lot to take on, but with God it can be pretty spectacular. This incredible thing happens when we practice the simple habits of connecting to Him that we've talked about throughout this series. With the continued usage of these tools, they become our normal. The things we once thought in our conscious make the shift to our subconscious. Communing with God becomes our natural habit and we get to revel in the better-than-we-dreamed-of life that He provides. We're so glad to be in this with you!