Friday, February 24, 2012

Trading in Your Life

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like. To trade in my life for another one.

If I gave up the house, the two-car garage, the pots and pans, the bank account...everything but whatever clothes would fit in the rolling suitcase.

Long before my children's lungs gasped their first taste of oxygen, husband and I did just that, left everything behind to live with less than what fit in the trunk of my green Buick.

We didn't leave on an extended mission trip or cushy vacation in the tropics. Instead, our experiment in living with less began when our apartment complex decided to re-roof our unit on the single rainy day in a dry thirty.

After the roofers ripped off the old asphalt and tar, God literally sent a flood. The flat roof with its four-sided rim acted as a funnel that impregnated the walls and ceiling until its increasing bulge gave birth to rivers of destruction.

Poor husband called to break the news with the ominous words, "It's not that bad." Thirty minutes later, I learned he and I had quite different definitions of "bad." Husband and I would be homeless for forty days.

After I yelled in anger, stomped my feet, and bawled (repeatedly) like a toddler, we two packed a suitcase along with a few pots and pans and moved to a hotel.

When our forty days were up (and yes, it was a literal Noah-esque forty), I was happy to return to my home. But I also missed living with almost nothing. I had actually come to enjoy the simplicity of our life there.

Without a closet full of clothes to choose from, my wardrobe decisions were streamlined. With only two pots and a handful of seasonings that weren't waterlogged, even dinner options were limited and, therefore, easier.

A half dozen years and three children later, life has gotten only that much more cluttered. It's when I step on one too many Legos or stack up the same pile of library books six times in a single day or see a sink piled high with dirty dishes--it's then that I want to give it all away, leave this life behind, strap a backpack on and start down that seven mile road to Emmaus.

For a few hours each week, I've been doing just that--leaving the comfortable to walk in His sandals, be His hands and feet.

What I'm finding is that the further I go with Him, the further I want to keep going, the more of myself I want to give.


  1. Reading this, I think again about all the pots, pans, Legos, blue jeans, shirts, etc, etc., that I have accumulated.

    I'd like to be a fellow traveler with your on that Road to Emmaus. Would not our hearts burn within us as we walked along the way?

  2. Part of setting out on that road is found in the video, which argues that we need to redefine ourselves as missionaries, to stop seeing that term as something for the select few who get paid for sharing the gospel. We must put feet to pavement and trade in this life for the next one, one piece at a time.