Echoes From the Campfire

On the trail again.  I wonder if a man ever gets away from it.”
              –Louis L’Amour  (Radigan)

    “That the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
              –2 Timothy 3:17 (NKJV)
Last week I read a great devotion by Richard Dresselhaus regarding “essentials.”  It got me to pondering over the weekend, what things are exactly essentials when going on a trip.  I’m not borrowing from him, except the idea.  But for a minute and indulge me and let’s look at essentials.
    For sure there are the essentials of life.  We need water, food, clothing, and shelter for survival.  Remember good ol’ Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?  The basic needs of life are essential.  He added warmth, rest, shelter, and safety to the bottom two tiers of needs.  He then went on to psychological needs and self-fulfillment needs.  I am reminded of two verses from Philippians:

         “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” (4:11)

         “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  (4:19)

I’m sure Maslow would not totally agree with Brother Paul, but Paul understood some things about the spiritual side of man that Maslow wasn’t completely aware of.  Over the years I have known and studied many of the men who were POWs in Vietnam.  Of course, for life they had to have the bottom tier of basic needs, but also to a man they said the thing that kept them alive, kept them going was faith.  Faith is actually a need of man.
    Back to Dresselhaus’ thoughts–he mentioned the essentials of a trip.  Now that all depends on where you are going and how long you will be there.  A person certainly wouldn’t be packing a parka for a trip to Ecuador; it would be completely useless and downright dumb.  So it is then important to pack for where you are going.
    Another thing when packing for a trip is what are some things to bring.  The necessary clothing and toiletries, notice I said necessary for when I would go elk hunting in the high country I didn’t bring along my razor and shaving soap.  When traveling I would pack a few things for a “just-in-case” situation.  Usually an axe, some rope, of course a coffeepot and that’s no good without coffee, matches, a knife, to mention a few.  If I was traveling in the winter in the north country I normally had a sleeping bag packed away.  Pack for the emergencies along the way.
    Most people pack too much for a trip.  Annie and I are getting ready for a trip back East.  We’ll be staying a month, but that doesn’t mean we need to take the closet.  No, my daughter has a washing machine that we can use so a suitcase will suffice.  I look around the house, what is something we really need and what are somethings that we enjoy, that upgrades the need.  We have a sink, so I can wash dishes, however, we also have a dishwasher where I don’t get my tender, sensitive hands all water-worn.
    Look back at the idea of where you are going.  If heaven is your destination, what do you need to take along?  First, you need to get your reservation.  Traveling to the holy city won’t do you any good without a reservation; you name must be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  Second, you need to have the Word of God hidden in your heart so that you won’t sin against the Lord.  Vain philosophies, psychologies, books by the great thinkers, mathematical riddles and other things that folks pack are not needed along the way.  Third, take essential clothing–the armor of God must be worn.  Fourth, there are things for survival:  knowing how to use the sword of the Spirit, prayer, meditation are some essentials to take for the trip.  
    Check your spiritual pack, or suitcase.  Are you carrying things that are not needed?  Are you forgetting to take along some essential things?  You have everything you need if you have the Lord.  Nothing more, nothing less.  If death would overtake you on the trip, you die with what you need.