Hello, and welcome to Your Own Wellbeing, the podcast. My name is Catherine Henderson, and I am your host. Our episode today is called “Sojourner Mindset.” So we’ll dive into what it means to have a sojourner mindset and why this is something you should think about for your own life.
So for those who don’t know, and probably most of you do know if you’re a regular listener, my family and I are on a nine-month vacation. I guess you could call it a sabbatical, maybe. We have taken some extended time off of work to spend with our family.
Our children are the ages of seven and 13. We felt like time was getting away from us, so we took time off to travel as a family over the next nine months. Currently, we are living in La Fortuna, Costa Rica. We will be here for about a month before we move on to our next destination.
Because of that, we are sojourners right now. The title of Sojourner means so much to us as Christians because we are sojourners here on this Earth. Being a true Sojourner and life right now has given me a new connection to what that means and how we should think about our lives as sojourners. I felt like it was important for me to share this here.
Being sojourners here in real life, it’s given me a new connection to what it means to be a sojourner and how we should think about that.
So, let me start out with a definition. For those who may not know what that term means, a sojourner is a temporary resident. So right now, my family and I are temporary residents of wherever it is that we travel to. In life as Christians, we are sojourners here on this Earth. We are temporary residents of this Earth.
This Earth is not our home, our home is with our Father in heaven. And so, as we think about what it means to be sojourners here on this Earth and I draw the parallels from what we’re learning here in Costa Rica. I wanted to share two points with you. First, I’ll share what those two points are, and then I will expand on those.
Okay, so the first is, which sojourners should travel light, literally and figuratively, and I’ll get into that. The second is that all we have is here, and now all we have is the ground where our feet are planted. That is all we truly have.
Okay, so first traveling light. When we first started on this journey, we thought we were traveling light because we carried like four suitcases for backpacks. As the days drew nearer and nearer to us leaving for vacation, it was like four suitcases, four backpacks to carry on, and my daughter’s instrument. We kept having to add and add.
On the last day, before we left, I had to go through our bags and pare down even more. I took two garbage bags full of clothing that I had packed to storage with all of the other stuff we couldn’t bring. You can imagine that it cut drastically down on our wardrobes for this trip. I’m wearing the same things over and over, and it’s totally fine. But we have to travel light, and I want to share with you what that has done for us.
So traveling light, we’ve been traveling now for almost two months, and we have this very light wardrobe. We have very few earthly possessions of ours within our grasp. At least we do still have things in storage, I do still have a possessions problem, but right now, I don’t have access to those things. All I have right now is what we’ve brought with us.
On top of that, we are living in these different vacation homes. The house we’re in right now doesn’t have a dryer. So we are line drying our clothes outside, and I love it. I think that’s so cool. But we also only have four dinner plates in the house. There’s four of us, and we have four dinner plates. We don’t have a dishwasher, so everything we do use, we have to wash. You would think that that would be more difficult, right?
You would think that would be like, “oh, you must constantly be always washing things, you must constantly have to hang things out and take things bla bla bla.” It couldn’t be further from the truth. Having fewer possessions has cut down on our daily chores drastically.
I have so much less to take care of. I don’t have to do as much laundry because I literally don’t have many clothes. The clothes that I have, I often wear twice. Don’t tell anyone. Even if I didn’t wear them twice, just literally not having many clothes creates less laundry. Imagine that, who would have thought? I thought it had to do with how many clothes you would wear, but it really has to do with how many clothes you have.
The same goes for dishes. It’s not a problem for us to hand wash our dishes, because we’re not using so many of them. We’re using what we have responsibly, so it creates fewer tasks. Having fewer things creates fewer tasks for you to do now. Why this is special is because it frees up our time for all of these things in our life that we think are there to save us time. Especially as Americans, they’re not saving us time. It’s all a big lie.
It’s all a big lie designed to have us purchase more stuff. We are the machine. We’re in this machine of buying more stuff and having more stuff, and that always being the goal. Thinking that more things are going to make our lives easier, but they don’t. Now, what’s the parallel here? Well, the parallel is that when you are freeing yourself up, your time up, you’ve got more time to live into your purpose, right?
Why do I need all of these things to accomplish the purpose that God’s given me on this Earth? The answer is that I don’t. As sojourners right now on this trip, we’re traveling light, and it makes life easier for us. As sojourners here on this Earth, traveling light is going to make our lives easier. It’s going to allow us to live our purpose better and more fully. Right?
So that’s the literal and the physical side of that. Now on to the figurative side of things. This is what I want you to think about. I want you to think about the things that you are carrying, figuratively, so not your worldly possessions.
I want you to think about this, what are your pet peeves? Those things just drive you nuts. The things that you carry as if you own them. What are your hangups? What are the things that you do not forgive of other people? What are you gossiping about? What do you have to have, as far as your relationships go? What do you need from your friends or from other people to fulfill you? Right?
Once you think about all of those things that you carry with you and how having to have everything just the way you want it, perfect all the time, creates a life that is heavy. It creates a life that doesn’t allow you to live your purpose because you’re always chasing after things being right and good with you. When really truthfully, if you will let go of those things, you can realize that living life is just good. It’s just fine. It is what it is, and it allows you to live more in your purpose.
Here is the reason why I think God wants us to live our lives this way; I believe that God really wants good things for us.
I don’t think that necessarily means he wants us comfortable. I believe he wants us to be able to be content, to be at peace in whatever our circumstance is.
I believe that to be true no matter if we are in financial distress, health distress, in prison, or in whatever situation or circumstance we find ourselves in. I believe that when you are traveling light, you can experience the peace that surpasses understanding that only comes from God.
That’s what I believe is one of the benefits of living like a sojourner and really recognizing and living into that calling of being a sojourner.
The second point is this, all we have is the ground where our feet are planted. All we have really are the people that are in front of us. You and I will not be remembered many years after the end of our time here on Earth, so all we have is the influence we leave on around us. Chasing after these things, these toys, these sparkly items to make ourselves happy, fulfilled, whatever, is never going to cut it, it’s never going to cut it.
All we have, all we leave as a legacy here, are the people that God puts in our path. That’s what it means to be a sojourner.
I want to encourage you to think about your life and how you can be more of a sojourner here. How you can truly let go of some of these things that don’t matter. This is my task. I’m pointing the finger at you and three back at me because I struggle with this as well. I say this from a place of struggle, not from a place of conquered, but I’m working on it. I’m working on it, and I hope you will too. I hope you’ll join me in this.
All right, you guys, that’s all I’ve got for you today. I hope you have a good one and I will talk to you soon. Bye now.
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