Packing to go to Germany

In just 48 hours, I will be getting ready to board a plane to Atlanta.  Once there, I will board another plane to Zurich, Switzerland.  My nephew, Alex (who turns 9 on Sunday), has no idea that I’m coming.  The plan is for he and Krista (my sister-in-law) to pick up a woman, named Raye (my middle name), from the airport.  After I surprise him (hee hee) we will drive back to Kandern, Germany where they live.

It’s hard to believe I will see my family so soon.  I have a lot to do to get ready.  But I’m so excited that it shouldn’t be a problem.

The weather in Germany is very different than Savannah, Georgia this time of year.  They have a light dusting of snow.  It was 75 here yesterday.  I have had to find some of my New York clothes (winter coat, wool sweater, turtle neck, gloves, etc.).  Where I’m going is not like here.  This got me thinking…

If you know me then you know I find meaning in the silliest things and turn everything into some kind of lesson.  It’s the teacher in me.  Packing for Germany has triggered a thought about how I live my Christian life.  This promise of seeing my family has led us to communicate a lot more.  As I choose my clothes for this week, I’m avoiding the things I will need to pack.  I find I am very purposeful in my choices of how I spend my time and energy after work, even how I spend my breaks during work.  I have a lot to do and I want to get it all done.

What if I had the same approach to my life here on Earth as it relates to my eternal life in Heaven?  Where I’m going (after this life) is not like here.  Can I choose to live with that level intentionality as I decide how to use my after-work energy and how I spend my break times?  Can I live “on purpose” like I’m preparing my treasure in Heaven, sacrificing what I want here in order to pack it for later?  Without this kind of perspective, what keeps me from indulging all my desires?  Without the promise of Heaven, what makes living without all I want and need possible?

And so, God gives us tastes of Heaven, like me hugging my family on Saturday.  Or good friends who text at the right time.  Or a silly dog who has silly habits that make me laugh.  We celebrate Christmas because Jesus came to bring us tastes of Heaven.  With His incarnation, we have the promise of Eternity.  I want to communicate with Him more as I anticipate seeing Him face-to-face one day.  Until then, I want to pack for Heaven, building up my treasure there instead of spending it all here.  The Incarnation gave us our ticket to spend forever with Jesus.  Can we spend our lives on this side of eternity with that in mind?  Can we allow the promise of Heaven to order and structure how we plan and function here?

I pray that this Advent Season brings you constant reminders that we are not here forever.  We do not need to set up a permanent camp and just settle for the day-to-day lives in which we often feel stuck.  We can begin to pack for Heaven.  We can deny ourselves the drive to have every desire and need instantly fulfilled, knowing that one day they will all be fully realized.

I know…kinda deep for just packing a suitcase…but that’s how God teaches me.  I hope you will begin to pack for Heaven by storing up your treasures there.

Thanks for reading.