The worst part of any vacation is the packing. The worst part of vacation packing is the packing you do when you are heading home. The bags never pack as neatly on the way home as they did on the way out the door. You have to sort through the dirty clothes, the could-be-worn-again clothes, and the clothes still in the suitcase untouched. The leaving suitcase smells like dryer sheets and the going-home suitcase has any number of unfamiliar smells about it.
I heard a preacher once talk about the way God wraps up seasons in our lives, how he literally gives us time to savor the ending of something before we move onto something new. His example was the graveclothes of Jesus left alone in the empty tomb as a reminder that the season of death was over. The linen cloths could have transfigured along with Jesus’ body, but they remained as a symbol of the transition.
That is what packed bags are for me today – a sign of our movement from vacation to routine. I’m thankful for it but wish, as I do with most transitions, that is was over. But there must be a reason. As Dan wanders around his childhood home gathering the loot his own children have accumulated over the holiday I know we are nearing our departure time. As I try to cram several new outfits in among the old ones, I am reminded of our blessings this holiday season. The packing gives us a chance to reflect and assess. We will load up our van tomorrow and embark on the 6 hour drive that always provides us valuable talk time.
Hope all your transitions over this coming week are smooth but revelatory. Enjoy the journey into a New Year!