My Bags are Packed

    I’m on my way to Johannesburg, South Africa.  My flight leaves at 1:03 pm from St. Louis on Sunday and arrives at my destination at 5:35 pm on Monday.  Accounting for the fact of a time change of 7 hours, my actual traveling time will be 21 ½ hours not including the time it takes to get to and from the airports.  I am in the process of loading my will power with courage to face that long journey.

    My will is not the only thing that has required filling.  I have given considerable attention to packing my bags.  Many things needed to be considered.  The days are warm but the nights are cool during this season in South Africa, so layered clothing seemed to be my best options.  I will be speaking in front of sizable crowds, so I needed to think about the style of my attire while not neglecting to consider the wrinkle factor for every garment that must be folded and stacked inside my bag.  Then there is the issue of fashion accessories like my jewelry and my shoes.  Jewelry should avoid being gaudy while not being too understated that it goes unnoticed.  Shoes should speak of style while yet affording enough comfort that I can stand in them for hours at a time.  These might not seem like necessary thoughts to cram into my mind, but they will matter when I arrived on the other side. 

    There were other important items that I could not forget to pack:  my passport, the international power converter, plus all the electronic cords for phone and computers.  My cosmetics and personal accessories – these very critical items demanded that I check, double check, and triple check that I had loaded up all my beauty products.  Who can arrive at a new place without putting their best face forward?  Right? 

    With all these important items carefully stowed away, I am ready to fly.  My part of the preparation is complete.  I now will partake of what others have prepared.  The airlines will have loaded the planes with fuel, food, and personnel.  The hotels will have pre-packaged the amenities to serve each customer.  Businesses know they must lay up wares ahead of time.  I will not have to pack anything but my money for these services to aid me in my travels.

    When I arrive, my hosts will meet me and attend to me while I am in their country and at their conference.  I have no doubt that they are also in the packing mode right now.  They must load the conference hall with all the necessary equipment, store up refreshments that will be used by speakers and attendees like, fill the admission packets with the  needed forms for all registrants, and wrap up every detail to ensure that the meetings run smoothly.  Packing bags is not an easy assignment.  Preparation to arrive at or host the event with all the particulars intact is an activity that demands foresight, consideration, and labor. 

    After ten days, this trip will come to an end.  I will repack to head home, and I will cram a few souvenirs in my bags to bring back to the family.  In would be unwise to arrive at any destination with empty hands and empty bags.  It is unwise in this life and in that life which is to come.

    Someday I will take my final trip.  My destination will be heaven.  I am ever mindful that I need to pack for that trip and to load my eternal suitcases with mementos from this life.  Oh, I will not take clothing and shoes.  There will be no need for any man-generated passport.  Jesus provides each believer our documentation into eternal life.  But, I want to take with me some important items that I have been accumulating while I am serving Christ and His kingdom.  Deeds of charity will generate rewards in heaven.  Living a life in accordance with the scriptures affords me the opportunity to pack eternal blessings.  Someday, I will travel beyond the borders of nations, oceans, time, and this earthly dimension.  Someday, I will travel to heaven.  I want to arrive there with my bags carefully packed.  How about you?


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