In addition to preparing for major renovations, we’ve been packing for a three week trip to Manitoba to visit friends and family. We’ll also be camping, so packing included a tent. Dining tent. Two tarps. Sleeping bags. Sleeping pads. Pillows. Hatchet. Lighters. Bug spray. Pots. Pans. Washbasin. Cutlery. Paper towels. Plates. Cups. Snacks. Dish soap. Dish towels. Sunglasses. Clothing for rainy, hot, and moderate weather. Sandals. Shoes. Sunscreen. Laptops. DS’s. PSPs. Chargers. Cameras. Rope. Propane tanks. Suitcases. Ice. Food. Drinks. Newspaper for kindling. Coleman stove. Books. Pens. Journals. Pads of paper. Nets for catching fish. Fishing rods. Tackle box. Snorkel and mask. Floatie toy. Toiletries. Meds. And a hundred other things that aren’t coming to mind right now, including one or two we’ll wish we packed later on.

For three weeks of vacation. Can you imagine packing for an eternal one?

You’d think that packing for eternity would be a lot worse, which is why so many religions major on the packing lists. But as it turns out, we can just drop the lists entirely. Just let ’em go. Let go of all the stuff we’ve accumulated, all the fears, all the guilt, all the planning, all the money and boats and cars and cabins at the lake. All of it.

Cause for the final trip, all we need…

Is Jesus.

“If you have Jesus, you have life,” John says, and that makes me sigh in relief.

No packing, no carry ons, no passports, no papers, no currency, not even the clothes on my back. Nope. Just Jesus. Which is an amazing gift, if you think about it. This entire week has been eaten up by preparing for our trip. By the time we leave, we’re going to be exhausted. It’s like life is on hold preparing for the future.

My heavenly preparation, if you can even call it that, is deliciously simple: living the life I have in front of me. “Don’t waste time packing,” Jesus says. “Don’t worry about anything to come. I’ll prepare all those things from my end. Your job? Squeeze every drop of holy goodness I’ve soaked into your life until your very last breath. Deal?”