1 Samuel 17: 38-40
38 Saul clothed David with his armour; he put a bronze helmet on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail. 39 David strapped Saul’s sword over the armour, and he tried in vain to walk, for he was not used to them. Then David said to Saul, ‘I cannot walk with these; for I am not used to them.’ So David removed them. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, and chose five smooth stones from the wadi, and put them in his shepherd’s bag, in the pouch; his sling was in his hand, and he drew near to the Philistine.
I don’t naturally pack light.
Every day I groan as I shoulder my backpack. It goes everywhere with me and contains everything I might need: my umbrella, sun hat and sunglasses. Also a book, notebook, water bottle, shopping bag and giant flowery purse. There’s face cream, deodorant, medicines I might need and a phone charger, several pens, keys, a tiny hairbrush, and a few things hidden at the bottom.
I have needed each of these things and have been so grateful for them being in my bag when I did, but so often I don’t.
People say “Tip it out and only put back what you need.”
The issue is not with my tidiness. I take everything out of my bag and carefully place them all back in: “I might need them.” It’s true. But it’s also true that at the end of the day I have a sore back, I can’t get comfy and I sleep badly waking with an ache.
Is it worth it?
David might have been ‘safer’ in the armour Saul offered him. But if he had been wearing it he also wouldn’t have been able to pick up the stones from the river, to take a stance his body knew and deal with what the world put before him that day.
Perhaps I’m a different David, one who decides to take the armour because I want to feel prepared, but instead I carry useless weight and lose sleep, making it harder to pick up the weight again tomorrow.
God of David
Grant us lightheartedness and light loads
Help us to carry the heavy burdens and help us to know how to let go of burdens which aren’t ours to carry.
Be our wisdom when we consider what armour we need each day.