One year ago today, I moved from Greensboro, NC to Las Vegas, NV. The job I’d applied for came through at the last minute and I had to be packed and ready to go in under a week. Thankfully, I’d decided to exercise faith weeks before and had started selling furniture and tying up loose ends when I initially began the interview process because I knew I couldn’t stay where I was. But that’s a different story for a different day. The night before my move, despite all the whittling down I’d done: selling, giving away, throwing away, crying as I let go– never before realizing the hold material possessions can have on us- it became painfully obvious in the 9th hour that I was trying to carry too much. My albeit nosy neighbor was right when she walked by my apartment earlier that day and looking at the pile I had on my floor bluntly professed, “if you think all of that is going to fit in your car, you’re delusional girl.” I preferred the word hopeful but hers proved to be more accurate. All that I had left was not going to fit in my black Jetta…
In the 9th hour I had to exercise every principle I’m going to outline for you now in a physical sense. Then I’ll show you how it applies in a real sense as we travel thru-life.
Take Only What You Need-In reality everything I needed to live would fit in my car: enough clothes, and shoes, toiletries, some food for the trip, the crucial documents I’d need immediately upon arrival, an air mattress and one small vanity that could break apart and serve as a table/desk, laptop, and cell phone. That was basically it though, and so with my purse and the clothes on my back I rode–most importantly with no regrets.
#1 Take Only What You Need
Don’t take what you think you may need, take only what you cannot survive without. With all the creature comforts of our society, we often mistake wants, and luxuries for needs. Often your circumstances and persona dictate certain things that may be needs for some and wants for others. For example, one person does not need three sets of dishes under ordinary circumstances. Yet a family of seven now that’s a different story. Perhaps needs become more obvious when one looks at it from a different point of view.
In order to take only what you need in life you must know what to leave behind.
#2 Count The Cost
This determines often how you’ll travel. In my case, it would’ve been thousands of dollars more expensive to take everything with me; money that even if I’d had at the time, it wouldn’t have been worth spending because frankly, replacing my furniture was cheaper than dragging the old stuff across the country. The principle echoes in life in much the same way.
New wine doesn’t fare well in old wineskins
You’ve probably seen one of the little pictures floating around on IG or FB stating you can’t solve problems with the same mind that created them. It’s true; when you’ve been offered the opportunity for a new life, a new job, a new relationship, or a new start in general, anything -you are moving on in life; if you drag that old mindset with you, you’ll end up no where. You won’t be able to move on. Some might say they like where they are, and that’s great. But everything must change, nothing (but the love of God) stays the same. Even though it may seem expensive to get rid of an old mindset you feel it took you years to learn, not letting go and opening yourself up to receive new things, will be more costly in the end. Yes it may take time, but it will be worth your while to leave the old thoughts behind in order to embrace the new.
#3 Make Room For The Things That You Know Will Make You Happy
I play two instruments (one from the time I was 3 years old). Now mind you many people don’t know this because I hardly never pick them up these days. But some kind of way, instead of pots, pans, my mixer (I love to bake) and many other items that got left behind, my violin and viola came with me taking up very valuable space. Why? Why would I bring with me something I hardly Never use? Because I know, when I find myself in a very dark place, the ability to make music heals me in ways that nothing else can. Although the times when I play may be few and far between, the times when I do play, I NEED to. We are most like our Creator when we are creating (but I’ll save that convo for another day;)
Paul says “I know that I still have a long way to go but there is one thing I do: I forget what is in the past and try as hard as I can to reach the goal that is in front of me…Did you miss it? He calls the act of forgetting the past and moving forward towards a goal ONE thing. This is a principle you see echoed throughout the scriptures. One has to take note that Paul didn’t just have a horrible past. He did some awful things but at the same time he was well respected in his community, highly educated with a huge amount of influence and authority. So he didn’t just forget the bad, he had to forget the good as well. When we’ve been very high, if we hold on to those things as pinnacles in our lives, it’ll be hard for us to ever peak again and it’ll make going thru the difficult times in life -what should merely be humbling- impossible to bear. You’ll find yourself always talking about “when I was this” and “when I was that”. Let me just stop you right here; nobody wants to hear that. Who cares about your yesteryear? Too much reminisce steals from the here and now. #Tbt can be annoying enough at times but image if it were “Throwback Thursday, and Throwback Tuesday and Throwback Saturday.” Just the thought is nauseating. Think of driving a car, image what would most certainly happen if you spent as much time looking in your rear view mirror as you do dwelling on the past.
Have you ever seen a bird look back while it was flying?
Forgiving needs no lofty words or dialogue. It just needs to be done. You may even need to watch that self talk, “I’ll never be able to forgive myself”
Yes. You will.
#6 Follow Steps 1-5
Head knowledge is nothing until you internalize it to the point where it becomes action. Sometimes you have to do it by faith. Other times you know it will work but you’re scared. In those times, you have to do it afraid. Acknowledge fear but never let it stop you when you’re doing something you know you must do.
#7 Repeat Each Step (as often as necessary)
We very seldom get anything right the first time!