Over Packing

June 8, 2014

Genesis 46:1

Jacob packed up everything he owned and left for Egypt. On the way he stopped near the town of Beersheba and offered sacrifices to the God his father Isaac had worshiped.

Tonight, Rick and I drove into the garage after a week of vacation. Two thousand miles later, we are still talking to each other and have a bucketful of memories. Years ago, Rick took me to Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone and the Tetons because I had never been out west. This time, we headed the opposite direction since Rick had never been east of Indiana.

We left last Sunday right after the second worship service, with a hotel reservation in Canton, OH. Since “spontaneous” is one of Rick’s favorite words, I tried not to have too much planned. I planned some things but allowed flexibility to just let the days unfold. Sometimes, it IS best to let things happen. Allow to be surprised. Pack in flexibility. Be moved as the spirit leads.

So we did. We saw Aaron Roger’s and Russell Wilson’s Superbowl uniforms at the Football Hall of Fame. A tour guide helped us relived the Gettysburg battle were we learned that Ulysses S. Grant’s middle name really didn’t begin with an S.

Cousin Dwight, Cousin Renee, Dwight's wife Kerry and her parents Penny & Joe, Cousin Brent, Dianne & Rick

Cousin Dwight, Cousin Renee, Dwight’s wife Kerry and her parents Penny & Joe, Cousin Brent, Dianne & Rick

At the White House

At the White House

Approaching Washington D.C., I confirmed with some cousins that yes, we accepted their offer to bunk at their Maryland house. They live relatively close to the Metro which easily whisked us right downtown. We walked miles as we hoofed it from major D.C. site to site in the warm sun. As the Monuments by Moonlight tour ended at the FDR memorial, we were cooled off by big rain drops running down our noses. One of our favorite meals was at the American Indian Museum.

A highlight was having dinner with several Sowers cousins our last night in D.C. When Rick and I left the next day, we didn’t have a return trip plan. While drinking coffee and slurping Wendy’s Frostys, we chose the scenic West Virginia route. About 75 miles shorter, it also meant twisting through the Alleghany Mountains. An online review spoke of lots of rusted vehicles and Depression-era houses along the route. Very accurate. The author spoke of a particular section which he/she felt a Confederate soldier walking home could have stepped right out of the woods. After looking over thousands of Civil War gravestones in the Gettysburg and Arlington National Cemeteries, the irony was not lost.

A seasoned traveler, I still over pack. This meant too many snacks, unworn clothes and books on CD to listen. My cousin’s wife spoke the irony that my truck-driving husband took a driving vacation. Yet Rick now feels he can give an accurate soybean and corn report for several states. He added several states to the “been there” list.

We were again impressed by our country’s grandeur. How can the deep West Virginia gorges not be magnificently created by someone greater than us? We were also saddened by human kind’s sinful nature, which ultimately lead to 50,000 casualties during the three-day Gettysburg battle.

We pack our lives with many, many things. This week, I’ll return to the unfinished items that sat for a week. I’ll prepare for worship next Sunday. We have a grand daughter’s birthday to celebrate, a doctor’s appointment for Rick’s Dad and a wedding next weekend. Once again, I’ll over pack another week. But I also plan to leave a little flexibility. God moments, leading of the Spirit, unplanned surprises. If we allow this, God will show up.

Lord God – forgive us when we do through our days without consulting with you. Forgive us when we pack our days full of things that pull us away from you rather than to you. Help us accept flexibility and your spirit to guide us this day. Inspire us to worship you today. Amen.

Blessings –


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