Pack Lightly…It’s a Short Trip | July 31st, 2017

Every year, my husband, Michael, and I make it a priority to take a vacation far away from home for at least a week. I look so forward to getting away from all the stresses of life, having time to clear my mind and allowing my body to melt into much needed rest and relaxation. However, I do not look forward to packing my suitcase which is, of course, a definite necessity for the trip.

“Pack Lightly!”

I start packing a week in advance because I know how long it takes me to “pack lightly” as Michael often reminds me to do during this challenging process. That is the goal, an admirable one to be sure, but it seems to be a struggle for me every time. As hard as I try to limit myself, there are always things I have packed that I never end up using on the trip. I definitely fall short of the goal to pack lightly!

Last year in July, we began the long, three-month process of moving into our new home. We had the liberty to slowly go through every item we owned and give away anything that we felt was not absolutely necessary to keep. We filled our garage and several truck loads of things that no longer had a purpose for our lives and experienced great joy giving to many people in need. As I prepared for the move, I was continually reminded of Michael’s words saying, “Pack lightly!”

Invest in the Kingdom

Life is a short trip compared to eternity, but we spend so much of our precious, limited time “packing” for it. Hours of our lives are spent buying so many unnecessary things we think we might need for this trip called life, but they have no eternal value. We collect, store, and hoard meaningless items that simply gather dust and are rarely used. They might bring us a bit of happiness during the moment we first purchase them, but that quickly wears off and simply does not last.

Jesus knew this when He taught about worldly riches…

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

Learning to pack lightly in this life provides so much freedom to spend more of your time and money on that which has eternal value, a wise investment in the Kingdom of heaven as you seek to fulfill God’s purposes in all you do.

Find a Passion with Eternal Value

I have found several worthy organizations that I am quite passionate about which have a true kingdom focus. Several of those I love to support include the pro-life group Human Coalition, sponsoring a child in poverty through Compassion International, a missionary family serving the Lord in Albania through Campus Crusade for Christ, the homeless recovery program Dallas Life, my home church Fellowship Dallas, and Recycled Pomeranians who rescued my precious fur baby, Emma, from a rundown puppy mill so I could have the opportunity to adopt her.

Now, you might be wondering what kind of eternal value can be found in supporting a dog rescue organization, but believe me, there is plenty! Here is one of many beautiful examples…

In 1981, a woman named Sister Pauline Quinn began the first dog training program for prison rehabilitation called Pathways to Hope, believing it would offer inmates renewed hope through the love of animals as she had experienced for herself. Throughout her life, she was abused and tortured and thrown into 14 different institutions 36 times. When she was released, she lived on the streets and found a stray German Shepherd. She named the dog, “Joni” and took care of her as her own. Joni helped her start the first of many prison dog training programs.

Here are a couple of touching quotes from Quinn’s experience with her German Shepherd…

“Through Joni I learned about God’s love. She helped me build my self-esteem.”

“Dogs love us unconditionally, and people need that — especially people who are wounded, they need to feel loved. So the dog is very much a healing tool.”

Find what you are passionate about  – something that has eternal value to give of your time and money. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also!

You are Held Accountable

There is another very good reason to invest in that which has eternal value.  When you leave your earthly home, you will have to stand before God, giving an account of yourself to Him including your thoughts, words, and actions. Also, in the way your time, treasure, and talents have been spent and used for the glory of God and for the good of others.

So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Romans 14:12

Leaving it All Behind

Whatever it is for which you spend hours of your life working hard, saving up and buying for yourself here on earth, it will always pale in comparison to anything you will have in your eternal home in heaven. Instead, why not focus your time and energy on the things that have eternal value?

When my precious mother passed away in March of 2012 from breast cancer, it struck me that she did not take a single thing with her from here. Not the lovely decorations in her home, not her hard-earned diplomas, not her favorite outfit or most treasured piece of jewelry, and not even a single gift I gave her for the many wonderful birthdays and holidays we celebrated together. It was ALL left behind.

After she left everything here on earth taking nothing with her, I began to wonder, What was awaiting her when she got to heaven to take the place of her earthly treasures? The apostle John was given a revelation from God of the new heaven and earth (also called “the new Jerusalem”) that we will all get to experience for eternity if we believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

My Kingdom Collection

The verses describing heaven in the book of Revelation are breathtaking, illustrating a spectacular city of splendor…

The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. Revelation 21:19-20  

I tried to imagine what this actually looked like, so I began to research each of the gemstones listed in the verses and found that most of them could be purchased as beads. For those that were extremely expensive, like the sapphires and emeralds, I was able to find less costly gemstone beads in the same color. Before long, I had created a collection of beaded bracelets. These 12 colorful gemstone bracelets which I called City Splendor represented the foundations of the wall of the city. They became known as a part of my Kingdom Collection.

A Beautiful New Home

Although these bracelets were only a faint taste of what heaven looks like, I knew my mother had gained an incredibly beautiful new Home. Nothing she had on earth could have ever come close to the beauty of what now surrounds her in heaven. Best of all, she is in the presence of Jesus, completely healed and full of joy!

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Revelation 21:1-4

Whenever I wear one of my Kingdom Collection bracelets, I am reminded that there is so much more awaiting me in my eternal Home than I could ever strive for here on earth. It reminds me to focus my efforts toward that which has eternal value for God’s glory. And it is the perfect reminder to “pack lightly” throughout life.

How wonderful to know there will be no need to go through the stressful challenge of packing a suitcase for our final destination as it will all stay behind. Jesus has everything ready and waiting for our arrival on the day we are given to enter our forever Home, a breathtaking, magnificent city of splendor!

Spiritual Sparklers

Sparkler #1: Prayer

Ask God to help you pack lightly for this life, focusing your efforts on that which has eternal value rather than on striving for meaningless things that only offer temporary, earthly value.

Sparkler #2: Action

Find an organization with a kingdom focus that you can be passionate about where you can give of your time and money to glorify God.

Sparkler #3: Challenge

Make it a priority to honor God and bless others with all of your thoughts, words, actions, time, treasure, and talents.

Click here to read more about Sister Pauline Quinn’s incredible story.

Kimberly Moore is a vintage costume jewelry expert, blogger, speaker, and author of Beauty in a Life Repurposed. To learn more, visit her website at www.kimberlymoorerings.com. 

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