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The Happy Traveler

“Ugh! I can’t remember the last time I was in this much pain.”

That’s what I thought last week as I collapsed onto the hard– packed floor of my tent. I was wet and quaking from the cold but too exhausted to do anything about it. I just laid there totally miserable but also thinking, “It’s all good. I am so glad I am doing this.”

I had just completed day two of a four-day hike on the Incan Trail in Peru. We had conquered the infamous “Dead Woman’s Pass” trekking almost 14,000 feet into the oxygen-deprived atmosphere.

As our team hiked, we carried backpacks with everything we needed for the day. Things we wouldn’t need for that day were sent ahead with government-required porters.

Needless to say, every morning, as I packed my porter bag, I crammed as much as possible in that pack to lighten the one I would be carrying up and down the grueling stony trail.

It reminded me of a quote from a second century Christian who was explaining to a Roman why Christians don’t seek to be wealthy in this world. Christians are pilgrims passing through on their way to a better place. Then this early apologist for the faith made this poignant statement.

“A traveler is happier the lighter his load.”

How true! The less I carried, the happier I was. I wanted to send ahead everything I didn’t absolutely need for that day.

What a picture of life!

We are passing through. As travelers, we are happier, the lighter the load. When we finally arrive at the “camp” the Lord has prepared for us we will be glad we had the wisdom to send plenty ahead and not burden ourselves down by dragging an overwhelming mountain of unnecessary rummage with us through this life.

In the words of singer/songwriter Don Francisco:

You can’t take it with ya … Take it with ya when you’re dead

You can’t take it with ya … You gotta send it on ahead

In the words of Jesus:

“Stop storing up treasures for yourselves on earth… Instead, store up treasures for
yourselves in heaven… Matthew 6:19, 20

One way we store up treasures in heaven is investing in kingdom enterprises – the ministry of the church and missionaries. Sending it on ahead by investing in missions is good for God’s kingdom, it’s good for the missionaries you support, it’s good for the people they serve and, when we finish this hike of life and come to our final eternal camp, it will be good for us.

We will be glad we chose to travel lightly through this world and sent it on ahead.

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