I was so excited to go on an Interrail trip one summer with one of my friends. We bought an Interrail pass to explore Europe by train. We had been planning this trip for weeks and looked forward to visiting iconic buildings and places of interest in France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Morocco, plus any other country we could squeeze in before our one month ticket would expire.

There was so much to prepare. We Planned our route, decided which places to visit in each city, looked up train times and connections, found possible accommodation options, it was all part of the fun. I was carrying a rucksack so all my worldly goods would have to fit in there.

I laid out all the things I wanted to carry on my bed, but no matter how hard I squashed and squeezed them in, it was not going to work, they wouldn’t fit into the rucksack!! I finally came to my senses and accepted that a lot of what I wanted to carry was not a necessity, I could ONLY carry what was needed for the journey. In the end I packed fewer clothes – tops, trousers, underwear, I would have to wash and wear so I put some travel soap in the bag. I had a fold up rain mac, comfy sandals, PJs, towel and basic toiletries, a sleeping bag and ground sheet. I would be wearing my trainers.
Wow! How was I going to cope with just a small amount of stuff?

But the truth was I could only physically carry a limited amount of things in the rucksack or it would become a huge burden to manage for a month. I’m glad to say I travelled around Europe and had a wonderful time! Travelling light was ok after all, I could manage with less.

It made me consider – how much stuff do we really need?
If I could fit all the essential things into a rucksack and travel for a month… did I really need the rest of the stuff I had?
Ok I admit I don’t want to part with my things, but if necessary I could manage with much less.

I’m sure in the western world many of us could easily get rid of clothes, shoes, toiletries and cosmetics and other items, we probably wouldn’t even miss them because we have so much stuff!!
The Bible says in Luke 3:11:
“He who has 2 tunics, let him give to him who has none, and he who has food, let him do likewise.”
If we have more we are then blessed to be in a privileged position, therefore we can give to help others who have little or nothing. God loves it when we give.
2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Rather than being accumulators of stuff, let’s become more giving. There is no lack of needs in this world, therefore we have an opportunity to be one of those who can help to make a positive difference. Let us keep that thought in mind as we go through the year. Let us clear out the things that we don’t need any more and give to the many charities and homeless organisations that could benefit from our help. We can help to make the world a better place through our giving.
Happy giving!!