By: Tyler Sit
June 10, 2014
It’s a bread-and-butter question that pastors love asking: Can you unpack that for me?
The question is extremely useful (though perhaps overused), because people often speak in loaded language and try to convey more than they’re saying.
Lately I have been living out of a hiking backpack a lot, and I’m not as convinced about this unpacking-business. Across some international travels, I have slept on forest floors and couches, shoving my belongings under bus seats or into studio corners. Space comes at a premium, and usually every inch that my backpack takes up is one less inch for me to stretch out my legs.
Packing has become a tremendous frustration and—as frustrations usually are—a challenge to examine my life: Do I really need this? Sure, this shirt is nice, but is it worth its space? I liked this book, but could I give it away? American culture has taught me to amass as much as I can, but as I become increasingly nomadic the more I see how much that stuff, figuratively and literally, weighs me down.
This image could be useful for pastors and those spiritually minded. Yes, please do unpack things but afterwards let’s do some repacking. Afterwards, let’s decide what we really need as we continue on this journey of life, and what we might as well leave behind or give away. No matter how insignificant something might feel, think about it in terms of scope: do you really want to carry this little trinket for thousands of miles? Will you be glad you held onto this grudge or that anxiety when you are worlds away?
If my travels are any indication, the right answer always, always errs on the side of leaving things to the trail and stepping onward.
Tags...: Thinking Out Loud