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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Letting Go and Living Lighter

I have recently been doing a lot of meditating and praying about living with less.  It is a very difficult thing for me to do.  It's not that I feel I'm particularly needy of things, but I just become unconscious of how much stuff we have, how much money I spend on things, and in a less material way, just how doggone needy I can be!!!  In total, I do not like any of this about myself.

Back in October 2010, I attended CREDO, which is a national program for parish pastors that was started by the Episcopal Church and has been adapted by the Board of Pensions of the PC(USA).  Every day we had a worship service and the first service was centered on the story of the disciples fishing and not catching much of anything.  Jesus appears on the scene and tells them to put down their nets in the deeper water.  Silly Jesus!  What does this son of a carpenter know about the intricacies of fishing.  Nonetheless, whether out of respect or just desperation, the disciples do what he says.  Low and behold, the catch is so large they can't even hold all the fish in their nets.  Part of their livelihood is being destroyed by the abundance of their haul. 

 What stopped me in my tracks and pulled me up short was the short verse in Luke, verse 11:
So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.  What could this mean to me?  And now, in my covenant group, we have been exploring the theme and practice of pilgrimage and one of the aspects is to hold things lightly and to consider what one must let go of in order to travel.  This can all be metaphor, or it can be real.  Or both. 

For me, I don't think the letting go or leaving everything is a metaphor.  It feels very, very real to me.  But that is about as much clarity as I have.  In a somewhat silly and concrete way, I'm considering my month long trek to Atlanta for the introduction and  Dmin. coursework at Columbia Theological Seminary.  What if I travel lightly?  Only take a carry- on bag.  Maybe I won't even take my whole makeup case (horrors!) and I'll travel with only 1 pair of shoes.  This sounds silly even as I write it.  Oh what a privileged problem to have.  But it is a process and a part of being a disciple, of traveling along the road toward Christ and making something more of myself.