Recently, I took a “trip within a trip.” While visiting the first location, I left to visit a different place for three days, then returned to my original destination before heading home. I could only bring my backpack (which held very little) with me for those three days which meant I had to be selective of what I packed.
As I was leafing through everything, I had to carefully plan what I would take. What would I wear? Will I need snacks? Do I want to take a book for the bus ride? How many days can I wear the same pair of pants? Should I take all my “emergency medicine?” All of these items were important enough to bring on the trip, but now I had to decide what was truly essential. I had to choose my top priorities.
With careful thought, I made my decisions and packed my bag. I made the trip and had what I needed, but I could not get the process out of my mind. I kept thinking how this same process would turn out if I applied it to my overall life, not just these three days.
I thought, “Of all the things in my life, what are those few things that matter the most to me? What are the things that I cannot do without? What are the top priorities for my life?” These are the life questions we are answering every day whether by default or maybe even, intentionally.
In a sense, this is an exercise to help us see what our core values are. Knowing our core values will help us sort those over everything else that fights to take priority in our lives.
What would you put in your backpack? Not your backpack for a three day trip, but in the backpack of your life? What would you choose as the “core values” that you cannot do life without? What are those values you would chose to add as room allows? What do you see as not so important? Where does your relationship with God fit? Your integrity? Family? Sharing the Gospel? How do you want to choose to fill your backpack?
There is only so much room in a backpack, and similarly, we only have limited space in our lives. Everything can not be our number one priority. We can not devote our time, resources, and energy to it all. Life is not a three day trip, but is, instead, a journey. We have 24 hours in who knows how many days. Make sure you are packing your life’s backpack wisely and well.