"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are
I have a sleeping pad. I scrounge around for the sleeping pad bag. The sleeping pad does have a
bag, or at least it did. Peppermint, bergamot, lavender essential oils are all packed, but I should pack a flashlight before getting too carried away…
I love the outdoors. I love to travel. This year I have conquered many new feats among mountains, valleys, deserts, hoodoos, and slot canyons. However, amidst the small task of packing, I become frustrated. Even after acquiring a plethora of books regarding minimalism, essentialism, and the capsule wardrobe; here I am.
As I scroll through an Instagram feed of people doing epic things, I eye the inspiring words of Bob Goff, “Love big, pack light.” If Bob was helping me pack right now, I would justify that I attempted to “pack light” when I invested in airtight-seal-bags on Amazon.
Exasperated, I plop onto my bed. Cushioned by heaps of towels, my bed plop is soft. I sink deeper and deeper and ponder, “What would packing look like if it was easier? Maybe, I have made packing for a fun trip hard. Maybe, it wasn’t meant to be this way.”
Throughout this season in Salt Lake City, I have repeatedly seen God interject with His presence, kindness, and humor when I least expect it and most need it. I have seen God’s beauty and majesty on breathtaking summit-hikes, ski-treks, cliff-repels, and trail runs. I have also felt God’s gentleness and assurance within presumably simple tasks, like packing.
Preparing for trips with Salt Lake Fellow’s has not just been about packing, and perhaps this is true of most things in life. Packing shines a flashlight on my heart’s grasp for control. Packing surfaces wounds of failure that my sustainable, eco-friendly, Band-Aids cannot mask. Packing brings me to my knees in prayer, on my cluttered bedroom floor, to the God who intimately knows my heart.
I am awestruck by the truth that there is not a part of my life that God is not present. He calls me His beloved as I let the struggle of packing speak into my identity. God is with me as I navigate, stumble, and get back up time and time again with my messy room; messy heart. The God of the Universe delights in caring for me.
"O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and
How have you been? I have heard so much about you recently, yet wonder what is on your mind. Your friends tell me that they miss you. In some cases, are grateful for you and even pray for you. Even your new friends tell me about their gratitude for you. Your parents miss you, but are incredibly proud of you. Some strangers even wonder why you are the way you are. They question if there is something different about you: either pointing to me or just your oddball personality. I would love to hear from you personally. All I want is to know where you are at, because, my beloved, I know you are struggling in ways you are struggling to comprehend.
I have heard about the maturity you have been growing into. It has been a process of the past few years; one that you struggle to acknowledge. But you have to understand, I am making all things new in you. Do not fret or try to conceal this, because I am making you new. In fact, I love your imperfections and cannot wait to help you understand them. Please hear this as I am proud of the way you have matured and you should be willing to acknowledge your growth.
Do you still pray for the youth? I miss our late night prayers, even though they were short. I miss you going to the high school whenever you passed by at night and praying for the students. While you may be 2,000 miles away from them and no longer passing their school, did you forget I know every single one of them by name? Miss our late night conversations and hoping we can get back to the roots. To be honest, I really just want to hear more from you. After all you are beloved by me.
Where have you been? I write to you, but I hear that you barely even open the letters. You call out my name every now and then. But I desire for an intimate relationship. Please understand that I am here for you whenever and as much as you need. Our relationship is not meant to be light or rare, but heavy and constant. All of this is out of love. I am here whenever you need me.
Call me whenever you are willing to uncover the unorganized habits persisting in your life, being late constantly, always trying to make it work, working really hard at giving to others, and anything else. We can both be honest that there is a lot more to a messy room or being late always. Or even your feeling about being able to make everything work. Or trying to pour so much into others. In all it sounds exhausting, please understand that there is more to it than surface level. Unpacking this and understanding how I can help will lighten the load. I do not mean to discourage (maybe keep your room clean), but rather help you understand lots of people have stubbornly tried to make everything work on their own. Sometimes I have given it to them, but other times I have not. In the end, these people have been exhausted from their efforts. Come to me, all who are weary, and I will give you rest. Let’s talk through this as I love what you are doing, but I am worried you will be left exhausted. Anyhow give me a call when you are ready to talk.
Salt Lake Fellows Collaborative