These days ‘sorting’ has taken on a whole new dimension for me. Think of all the clutter that you need to go through and sort in the course of a normal year of life: correspondence, school papers, old make-up, clothes grown out of, knick knacks there is no space for anymore, pictures on your camera and computer, old magazines, the left-overs in the back of the fridge… are you getting the idea? Now, add to that the sorting you do mentally: deciding which friends to stay in contact with, which family events to attend, what your priorities need to be, which goals you’re going to stick with, which you’re going to revise, and which you’re going to ditch. Do I need to continue, or is your mind already racing?
Our move to Portugal has me sorting through the accumulation of my families lives. Due to the cost of shipping and customs, we’ve been advised to bring only needed clothes, books, instruments, and family heirloom type items, or items that we feel we will really miss. So, we’re in the process of sorting out these items from the accumulation of life. Along with that, we’re selling our house, so, we’re figuring out which items will go into storage at my parent’s home and which ones we’ll sell.
Now, the stuff sorting is enough to overwhelm me at times, but the mental sorting can completely immobilize me. If you’re the type of person who likes to plan ahead, this missionary stuff will drive you to distraction. You CANNOT plan ahead. There are way too many possible outcomes. What should I focus on completing first? – preparing the house for sale, sorting through all the stuff, getting churches lined up and raising support, preparing items for Portugal (like getting all my favorite recipes into my computer so I don’t need to take books or cards), my assignments from ABWE, making sure we get to do everything we love doing once more before we have to leave the U.S., getting people trained to continue my church ministries and getting them passed off – Or do I not choose and try to do it all simultaneously? Uuuughhhh!!!!!
Fortunately, I am not the only one working on sorting in my life. You see, God is sorting too. He is sorting through my motives, my desires, my hurts, and my fears. He does a great job of helping me see what stuff needs to go with me and what stuff needs to get thrown out. And God has this incredible way of getting my focus off things that really don’t matter and helping me focus on what does. “Seek first the kingdom of heaven (God) and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!….The Lord is near….do not be anxious….present your requests to God. And the God of peace will be with you.” God is taking care of planning ahead for me; He wants me to be focused on my relationship with Him and the work He has for me to be a part of. When I keep this in view, the rest of the sorting becomes more than manageable – it turns back into part of the adventure.