I have this amazing orange Osprey messenger bag that can hold a bunch of books, a laptop, noise cancelling headphones, a glasses case, and a whole lot more. I got it three years ago, and though I’ve picked up newer bags since then, it’s the one I come back to again and again. I’ve started dismissing my other bags with a remorseful look at the Osprey that says, “I know and I’m sorry. You were always more than enough.”
But for the past several Sundays, though, I have left my beautiful orange messenger bag with the padded shoulder strap and sturdy side mesh pockets perfect for a water bottle, keys, or even pens at home and commuted to church with nothing by my keys, phone, and wallet. The laptop awaits me in the office already. The books? What? Am I going to breeze through a couple of chapters in between the Introit and the Call to Worship? I don’t need all that stuff I tote around during the week on Sunday morning (truthfully, I don’t need most of it during the week, either). On Sunday morning I can travel light. I should travel light.
I’m starting to believe that I’m sufficient with what I’ve got in my pockets to do the work I’m called to do. All the books in all the bags are tossed in there on the way out of the office at the end of a day that feels less-than-productive and with the guilty thought, “Well, maybe if I can read some Barth before bed I will have earned my ordination for the day.” The bag is a gimmick meant to fool myself more than my congregants or my peers in other professions that I’m really working at this and deserve to be taken seriously. I am and I do, but not because of the bag or what’s in it.
Travel light, my friends.