And now, for the world’s biggest suitcase…

Today my suitcase for Japan arrived.

And it’s huge!

Like, big enough to fit me, all my clothes, and a considerable amount of my household goods inside…

I had to order a new suitcase because I traditionally tend to pack light and only take hand luggage when I travel.

And for a week or two, that’s ok. But for over six weeks? That’s just gross.

So, in preparation for the summer, I have invested in a super-sized-lightweight-flowery-heart-pattern-roxy suitcase. With wheels.

I’ve thought about what I need to take, the resources I need to teach, and the weight that I can carry.

I’ve weighed up what I can fit inside, need to have with me and want to take.

I’ve considered what will make my trip more effective, fun and be useful to the reasons I’m actually going.

And to prepare, I’ve ordered a suitably large suitcase.

And the verses that popped into my mind when I opened it today came from Luke 14.

Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’ Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

Because just like I don’t want to be stuck in Tokyo airport with a suitcase that I can’t carry… Or be stuck in Osaka without enough pairs of shoes… Or be standing in front of a group of students in Nara with no resources… I really don’t want to think that I considered what it would take to follow Jesus my whole life, and then realise that I wasn’t really ready to give Him everything.

In fact, that’s the single-most-important-thing that I want to make sure I am counting the cost of.

That I not only have, but would and will give up everything to be His disciple.

Past, present and future tense.

Because I’ve counted the cost and found it all to be worthless compared to the joy of knowing Jesus.

And I don’t want to sing about anyone but Him, or speak about any other lovers but Him, or fix my gaze anywhere but in Him. There is none for me but Jesus.

And my huge suitcase, that reminds me of counting the cost of a six week trip, today served as a reminder of His huge sacrifice, that leads me to count the cost of being His disciple and find that all else is nothing.

Nothing.

Oh Jesus, may I build my life for You alone with the materials of heaven.

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