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walkingstickSome days I feel (and probably look like) a pack mule as I leave for work. Nearly always my computer bag is slung over my left shoulder hugging the purse already hanging there. In my right hand could be my briefcase and perhaps a plastic grocery bag or two hanging from my wrist with lunch, letters to mail, items to return to the religious education office…or whatever. Oh yes, and somewhere my keys adorn a finger. One must be dexterous these days when leaving home – and occasionally I actually make it to the car without the whole of my building project collapsing around me!

I laughed this morning as I read the line from Mark’s gospel where he instructs his emissaries who are about to go out on mission. (MK 6:7-13) “Take nothing for the journey but a walking stick,” he says, “no food, no sack, no money in your belts.” They were to wear sandals but could manage without a second tunic. What makes me think I won’t survive an afternoon without my lunch? And I won’t even go into what it takes to pack for an actual trip! Most important there is the color scheme I’m working with to minimize the number of shoe choices…

Obviously conditions are different now but this comparison does make me think about how cluttered life can become with material cares that sometimes distract from the deeper purposes of work and walking the path. It’s all about consciousness really. It’s as easy for me to fail to notice a colleague’s unspoken need as it is to forget to hang my lunch over my wrist unless I am living in the present moment where God always waits. So – breathing in and breathing out, I begin again, smiling at the word and the reminder that helps me to wake up to possibility in this new day.