I am lead parent in a Foreign Service family, and we move often. When we arrive at a new home, a “welcome kit” is waiting for us. It is a big box of everything we might need before our belongings arrive in the moving truck. Inside, we’ve got some basic sheets. The cheapest coffee maker. Used plates, pots, and pans. A can opener that exacts a price from one’s knuckles when used.
It is an odd gift, sitting in our house for us on arrival, waiting to be unwrapped. But it honestly can be a gift, if I let it. In using the kit, I am shown how few belongings I actually need. So freed, I am much more likely to heed the psalmist’s exhortation: “Do not forget all the gifts of God.” I am able to see more clearly that everything is a gift.
Paul Mitchell cares full-time for his young sons and writes in the service of lay formation. He taught in Uganda, Chicago, Boston, and Egypt, and studied theology at the University of Notre Dame and the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.