Packing the suitcase of life

Packing the suitcase of life

Think back to the last time you had to pack a suitcase when you last went on holidays. You usually have more things to take than whatever room you have in your case. You have a pile of things on the bed and an empty suitcase in front of you. How do you begin?

Well, you would usually choose the biggest and least flexible thing to put in first — something in a box or something precious. Once the inflexible things get added to the suitcase, you can always squish other things around the outside.

And once the suitcase is full, if there is anything left over, it must be left behind. You cannot take everything with you. You will need to make choices.

Much of life is like that if you think about it. We are constantly making choices as to what is of the greatest importance to do with our lives. We have the same 168 hours per week as everyone else. What will we do with them? There are some things that are inflexible. Most of us need to work, for example. We need to sleep. We need to eat. Fair enough. Where do we spend the rest of our time?

We need to be intentional about this question. If we’re not, we end up frittering our time away on things that we know don’t have much value. We browse social media, we watch TV, we read, we get involved in hobbies. All of these things are good, not bad; but if that’s all we do, we miss out on a lot. Most of us will want to include time with family and/or friends, and if you’re a Christian, you’ll want to include church as well as personal devotional times.

Most Christians have, at times, realised that the way they have packed their lives is not ideal. It is too easy to have devotional times drop off due to general busyness; they get left on the bed once the suitcase is full. It is also easy to put off church involvement until life is less busy (when will that be?) or just squish it around the edges of what we want to do.

Be more intentional than that. If church and personal devotion matter, build them into your life regularly. That doesn’t mean you need three hours of prayer every morning! But it does mean that you choose not to allow the rest of life to squish out the things you know are important. Make the hard call to drop social media or Netflix one night instead.

Don’t drift through life. Otherwise, when you reach the end, the things you have packed will prove to be useless for your final destination. Don’t pack for the tropics with heavy jumpers, and don’t pack for a life eternally with God with exactly the same things those who don’t trust in Jesus pack into their lives. Include what matters.