Matthew 11:28-30, John 5:19
Moving house . . . It's one of those things in life that you somehow learn to love and hate simultaneously. There is the excitement of moving somewhere new, the opportunity that arises for a good clear out and the brilliant fact that a change is like a holiday.
Then there is the flip side of the coin. . .
Having to get by for days while all your belongings are packed up in boxes. Realizing you can't remember where you put anything. The distress of unpacking things that broke somewhere along the way and of course there is the art of box packing itself!
It is this last phenomena that has had me bemused for the last week and a half!
The thing about box packing that alludes me is this . . . When packing boxes, how do you know when enough is enough? How do you determine when to stop shoving things into that cardboard frame, seal up the baby and leave it to rest until moving day.
You see in my family we have an incredible ability to fit things into the tiniest of spaces. Each box becomes a new opportunity to re create the wonder of the Mary Poppins bag, or the infamous Tardis. The problem with this is that it often leads to over packing.
Now, there was a time in my life when I didn't think such a thing existed. My experiences over the last week however, have taught me a very different story.
After packing all my belongings into 5 boxes I began that exhilarating stage of moving that involves lugging boxes from house to vehicle. Things went swimmingly well with the first two boxes. I had been careful to spread the weighty items across all five boxes and developed a little 'swing and hook' routine using my elbow and ankle that enabled me to get through a door whilst carrying a large box. I had even worked out a way of gently sliding the boxes down the four flights of stairs from my apartment to the ground floor. My confidence was rising and the journey to the new apartment was in site.
Then came the third box!
Just as I got it through the door and onto the first flight of stairs an unwelcome sensation set in. The sides of the box began to tremble, the creaking of gaffa tape filled the air and I, underneath it all, began to sway like a sapling being battered by the wind. In less than ten seconds the sides of the box had burst! My belongings, my books, pans, T-shirts and underwear trailed the stair case and landing area all the way from flat number 6 to flat number 10. It was a sight to behold and on hearing the noise the residents from flat number 8 quickly came through their front door and beheld it! Well . . . it's not every day you find your neighbors knickers on your door step!
So what did this little experience teach me?
There is such a thing as over packing and sometimes less really is more!
Funnily enough this is a lesson God has been teaching me about life in general over the past few years. You see it is possible to over pack our lives! We set out on our life's journeys, we meet so many incredible people, we come across so many wonderful opportunities and we want to say 'YES' to every single one of them! For a while we can maintain it, but like my boxes, when we over fill our lives there is an inevitable bursting point just waiting to happen.
If you are someone like me who just loves 'doing things' then you will know that feeling when it begins to set in. The feeling that you may have taken on too much and you are not quite sure you can make it through the next week without a bursting point somewhere along the way. You desperately want to off load some of the many tasks, meetings, coffees, appointments, projects that you have taken on board, but you don't quite know how to do this without the risk of missing out or letting someone down.
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