But what do I need

We are on the way to more grandchildren later this year. The list of “stuff” is exhaustive.

A baby’s health and welfare may be paramount, but the available options of “stuff” reflect the parent’s lifestyle and aspirations more than the baby’s welfare.   Parents want to make sure they have all the “best stuff” for every possible consequence (not to mention the expectation of something close to their current lifestyle and current aspirations).

I was no different decades ago.

Simply that “pre-internet” and “pre-online shopping” there was nowhere near so much choice.  We too needed to know we had prepared for every eventuality, had all the stuff we would ever need, and would be good parents to our new child.

And then we became parents and found out the books and glossy magazines and racks of shiny stuff are not what being a parent (or baby) is all about.

“Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts.”

This little scenario is played out in three gospels.  The “shiny stuff” is slightly different in each: “power” is not in all three … “Sodom and Gomorrrah” neither … but “preaching and proclaiming” is – and that fits nicely with the “Great Commission”.

Take nothing for the journey.

Those five words tend to be overlooked – “shiny” mission is the thing – “shiny” converting and saving is the thing – “shiny” healing and driving out – “righteous” shaking the dust from your feet – “biblical” consequences of “them” not listening to “me” … the “post-internet” and “post-online shopping” shiny mission stuff – now THAT is the thing!  The (godly) “Masters of the Universe stuff” is the stuff of appeal.

And “the journey” much less so.

More and more I am finding good stuff in the bible.  Less and less is it to do with traditional “teaching” and “preaching and proclaiming”.  More and more it is the stuff that changes me.  Less and less is it any of the stuff that changes you because I tell you it should change you.  More and more it is about my freedom.  Less and less is this word “control” even relevant.

The control of taking everything with you …

A car-load of stuff every time a baby moves from your house to “shopping” … to another’s house … for a holiday … to and for and of “anywhere” … This car-load of “essential stuff” that is packed and unpacked each time … The control of being able to respond to every circumstance … The control of being in control …

In a parent – not necessarily a bad thing – but in a “Christian” … ?

I don’t know.

In a Christian “I don’t know” is never the shiny aspirational lifestyle stuff of choice.  In a Christian “I know and you will know as well!” is the default sought-after “good Christian” aspiration.

Less and less I understand why that is – less and less I want to understand why – more and more I just “don’t know”.

Take nothing for the journey.

But what do I need … ?

“I don’t know.”

Is all.