The Awesomeness of Living Out of a Suitcase

IMG_0427This morning I brought my largest suitcase into the bedroom and asked a very serious question

If I have to live out of this for six months, what should go in it?

One reason for doing this is a short-term service opportunity has come up, [1] but as any missionary can tell you, it’s not abnormal to be away from home for months at a time.

After giving a basic answer of “clothes and electronics” to the serious question you think it would get a lot simpler…but of course it didn’t [2].

An hours work resulted in my fist “trial run” at a bag that could be lived out of for six months. But it also helped me learn something.

I have way too much stuff

Now I probably accumulate things that are different from most of you; running gear, running shoes, books, and electronic gadgets (I like to call them “ministry tools”) but most of us in a moment of honesty would admit many of the things we accumulate aren’t needed to survive [3].

This is why the hardest part of the process wasn’t what would go in the suitcase…It’s what I would leave at home

Yesterday I wrote a blog post discussing how serving the Lord in foreign countries means walking away from many conveniences we experience in the States (cable TV in particular). While this is hard, sometimes it’s even more difficult to walk away from our possessions.

But this painful experience is actually a blessing because it allows us to look at those possessions differently.

  1. Do I really need that fourth pair of shoes?
  2. Or my twenty disk dvd collection?
  3. Or that running shirt to go alone with the other five?
  4. The answer to this and many other questions is “no”

The funny thing is as the process continued it got a lot easier because I developed a clear understanding in my mind of what was truly needed to survive.

Does that mean I’m excited about leaving more than 90% of my wardrobe and almost all of my cool toys at home? Of course not!  But I’m still setting those things aside because I don’t really need them. And God is glorified greatly when we embrace a simplified view of life.


[1]: hope to share some more info about that this week

[2]: imagine deciding what five shirts (seven max) you would like to bring

[3]: we can live without them

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