There are only seven weeks to go until my husband and I move from Australia (where all of my family lives) to Peru (where all of my husband's family lives). We had expected that we would live in Peru at some stage, but our trip in February this year confirmed that the time had arrived.
Knowing we would return to Peru—God willing—within eight months' time, we left most of the items we had purchased there in a large suitcase. But back here in Australia, we have an entire houseful of goods to deal with before we leave for an unknown number of years.
The options with our things are basically to: sell, donate, store or take them with us.
After discovering how costly it is to ship goods to South America, we have decided to take two suitcases of belongings each: and that's IT.
What you pack reflects who you are
So if you had to condense your life into two suitcases, what would you take?
I have been thinking long and hard about this, and I'm sure my answer will continue to change up till the very last moment. However, here are some basic approaches which I believe would match different personality types:
The sentimental packer
This person packs their memories—photos, keepsakes, journals, favourite books, and teddy bears. They treasure precious memories and carry items which are symbolic of those memories. They understand that their history will be part of who they become. This is like Mary, mother of Jesus, who held precious prophetic words and events from the past close to her heart, and meditated often on what they could mean for her family and nation's future.
The patriotic packer
This person fills their suitcases with the best products of their home country—to use and to give as gifts to their new hosts 'from a faraway land'. They are proud of their heritage and confident in the identity they bring as a resource and blessing to their new community. This is like Jesus, who—confident in his divine identity as the Son of God—came with gifts of forgiveness, healing, deliverance and provision from Heaven, his home country, to bless those on Earth.
The visionary packer
This person focuses on what they are going to, and takes everything they imagine possibly being useful in the new place—like cultural costumes and music, media and literature in the new country's language and so on. They have a dream, vision and hope for what is to come, and throw themselves in to the challenge completely. An example is found in Joshua and Caleb, who were ready to give up their old, familiar understandings and ways in order to embrace the new blessings waiting for them in the Promised Land.
The enterprising packer
This person packs things that will be useful for earning a living in the new place—tools, professional certificates and resources, work-related clothing and so on. They are proud of their trade and take seriously their responsibility to provide for themselves and their families. An example is Moses, who—a shepherd—took his staff with him wherever he went, and God ended up using it to gather and lead the sheep of Israel into a land of abundance.
The comfort-loving packer
This person makes sure they have their creature-comforts on hand—their cashmere coat, merino wool scarves, neck pillow, reading light, transition lenses, favourite drinks and snacks, and cold-press juicer ready to unpack at the other end. This is like the Apostle Paul, who made sure he could supply his own needs to avoid being a burden on the ones he went to serve.
The spontaneous packer
This person is so firmly entrenched in the moment that they don't pack till the last minute. Then they either take very little, or throw in whatever they can find; a bit of this, a bit of that... and hopefully remember their passport in the flurry! This is like the disciples of Jesus, who spontaneously left everything to follow Jesus, trusting their needs would be met on the journey, and whom Jesus instructed to receive hospitality in the towns where they went to spread the good news.
And so I'm still not completely sure what I will and won't take with me to the other side of the world, but my gaze is firmly fixed on what is ahead:
'Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.'
Yes, Lord! We are ready to take hold of the new things! Lead on and we will follow...
Rosanne Menacho is a member of Yahweh's royal household, a much loved daughter, sister and wife and a part-time student of translation. Her heart is to release freedom and joy in Christ, and to see Heaven come on Earth.
Rosanne Menacho's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/rosanne-menacho.html