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What’s In Your Suitcase?

Imagine you’re headed for a year-long journey. How will you prepare? What will you take along? How lightly can you pack?

You’ll need clothing for all types of weather. You’ll set up a budget and take a credit card, bank card, identification, maybe a passport.

Of course, you’ll research weather patterns, the terrain, timetables and anticipated destinations. You’ll plan for possible delays, perhaps side trips, and for every contingency you can imagine, and still there will be surprises.

Well, get ready because we’re all about to embark on a long journey–through the year 2020. Have you begun preparing?

We have so many resources we can carry into this year-long journey with no sense of burden since they weigh nothing. And because they have no size or shape, we’ll have plenty of room to pack them.

Through many years of life-experience, we’ve learned that along the way we may meet lions, and tigers, and bears. (Oh, my!) We’ll need to pack faith and courage to meet those challenges, even when we’re not sure we can overcome them.

Might we encounter a few difficult and/or annoying people? Hmmm, better pack an abundant supply of patience, grace, charity, and forgiveness.

And let’s not forget about hope to get us through dark days and disappointments. We’ll encounter occasions that require our persistence and diligence. As much as possible, we’ll keep our joyful spirit close at hand.

We’ll certainly want to pack a healthy dose of humility. It’s been known to diffuse volatile situations, open doors to brotherhood and friendship, to social acceptance, inner peace, and even employment opportunities.

Oh, look! We still have room to pack resolve and tenacity for pursuing and achieving our dreams and for greater fulfillment. And a dose of curiosity to expand our viewpoint never hurts.

A brimming supply of compassion and generosity is a must for aiding our fellow travelers, many of whom are struggling with their baggage and trailing behind. Perhaps they didn’t know how to pack lightly.

A friend we’ll call Evelyn lived a very long life, but it was filled with chronic disappointment, self-pity, and bitterness. Like Bill Murray’s character in the movie Groundhog Day, she continued living the same uninspired day over and over, shutting the door on any new prospects. She died still clutching her unhappiness.

We can look forward with hope, anticipation of better things, and enthusiasm, embracing the next year’s adventure, or we can just repeat last year.

We, having packed wisely and lightly for the new year’s journey, are equipped to handle each day, each challenge, each adventure. Our wings of gratitude will sustain us all the way.

Wishing you a joyous journey of faith, hope, and charity in 2020.

Constance Watkins