The small town of Lytton, British Columbia, Canada was in World News broadcasts this last week.
The town, with a population of no more than 250, recorded Canada’s highest ever temperature, and then within 24 hours of this recording the town was engulfed in a wildfire and destroyed.
The town’s residents had no more than a fifteen-minute warning to leave their homes.
With such little notice, what would you take from your home?
The response of each of us will no doubt be very personal, and, more than likely very different.
Spend a moment and consider what you would take, and what you would leave behind?
I, personally, had a somewhat similar situation as a result of the 7.1 earthquake which hit the city of Christchurch on the 4th September, 2010.
The home I was living in was a 100-year-old two-story brick structure, and after the assessment was deemed unsafe to be lived in.
As a consequence, I, and those I lived with were told to leave the residence.
What does one pack, and what does one leave behind?
What are essential to who I am as a person?
Surprisingly, I found myself saying there was very little I “had to take”.
Now, I need to acknowledge that I am a single, celibate male and that is of huge importance in my decisioning.
I had not built a home with another!
My way of living already had an element of movement about it, so the roots put down were not as deep as, for example, a married couple who have made their life, and the life of their family, in a certain physical location.
That being said, it still required choices to be made; some things were left behind!
The details of what the disciples were to leave behind differ from gospel to gospel.
“No staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money – not even an extra tunic” (Luke 9:3).
“No gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff” (Matthew 10:10-11).
St. Mark’s is the earliest gospel written, most commentators suggest between 65AD – 72AD.
Mark’s account allows the disciples a staff and sandals.
A story to help us.
Once upon a time a visitor was travelling through a foreign country.
The traveller had been told a very wise person lived in this country, and the traveller was eager to make the acquaintance of this wise person.
Everywhere the traveller went he asked directions to visit the wise one and was repeatedly told “he lives on the edge of the forest.”
When the traveller would ask directions to the forest, the answer would come back, ‘follow the direction of the sun.”
After much searching, he found the wise one sitting on the porch of a small house, and the wise one invited the traveller inside to share tea.
On entering the house, the visitor was astonished to see that the wise person’s home was only a simple room filled with two or three books.
The only furniture was a table a chair, a cot bed, and a wooden box with a few clothes inside.
‘O Wise One, where is your furniture?, where are all your possessions?’ asked the visitor.
‘Where are yours? replied the wise one.
‘Mine? But I am only a visitor here. I’m only passing through! exclaimed the visitor.
‘So am I,’ replied the wise one.