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A different kind of packing list

- Practice, Practice, Practice

In preparing for a recent trip, I was looking at my packing list and remembered a quick healing that I had many years ago. It came about as a result of a family tradition from my childhood.

When I was young, we would drive from Illinois to Pennsylvania every summer to visit my relatives. During each trip my parents encouraged us to pack our “spiritual suitcase.” To do that, we would go through the alphabet and take turns “packing” a spiritual quality or gift from God that begins with that letter. My mother would start by saying, “We are going on a trip and with us we are going to take … ability.” The next person continued, “Yes, we are going on a trip, and with us we are going to take ability and beauty.” And so this continued throughout the entire alphabet.

We learned that it was equally important to see what wasn’t packed and what we weren’t taking with us, as negative traits would sometimes come to mind with the different letters of the alphabet. (You can be certain my parents didn’t allow us to pack arrogance or bossiness!)

And, with the assistance of this exercise, the following healing happened. Partway into a long car ride, I became quite ill. Little did I know that my parents had packed their own spiritual suitcases long before they helped us pack ours and long before we’d hopped into the car. My mother quickly recognized the error, the mistaken belief that I could be separated from God-given peace and joy, and she lovingly but firmly said, “We did not pack sickness; we packed health and comfort and joy!” I felt well immediately. I was healed. 

What a joy it is to fill my thought with everything from assurance to zeal as I pack for upcoming trips! 

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