There is an age-old question of how much is too much of something? I find this adage to pop up every time my wife and I take a trip somewhere. It doesn’t make any difference if it’s to the grocery store or a trip around the world I have to load the car with things “she might need.” More than once I have considered trading our car in for a small truck or at times a large moving van just to handle her essentials.

Right now we are preparing to attend my granddaughter’s wedding and I’m doing the ceremony. Therefore, I need a suit, my robe and a few necessities for a few days. Everything I have I can pack in a small overnight bag with a couple of hang-up clothes and I’m set to travel. On the other hand, my bride has assembled enough clothes to last until Christmas. She assured me seven pairs of shoes are the minimum, six dressy outfits are needed just in case (in case of what?) and the 46 pounds of makeup, powders and assorted lotions are non-negotiable. I could open a drug store with all the beauty products she has amassed. I guess I ought to add a little air to the car tires just to help with the load.

You would think I could just load the stuff up and away we go, but it doesn’t work that way. Oh no, things have to be loaded in order of preference, certain garments hung up on a rod in sequence and all these things have to be loaded so she can have easy access to them in case (in case of what?) So loading the car is a precision experience overseen with a critical eye to make sure nothing is wrinkled, mashed or put in the wrong place. I doing all of this in 95-degree weather sweating like a stevedore and she is telling me not to get anything on her stuff. Oh well, it won’t make any difference after my heat stroke where they got loaded.

Once the car is loaded and I think we are finally ready to go she starts instructing me on how to drive safely, where to make my turns and what stations I can play on the radio. All of this while we’re still sitting in the driveway and I haven’t even cranked the car. To tell you the truth if we had an accident I wouldn’t be hurt because of all the clothes that would pad my impact. So, I just say, “Yes, dear,” and start the safari.

Isn’t it funny how we load our life down with so much drama just like we load our cars for a trip? There are so many things we need to prioritize and leave behind but we are afraid we might just miss them or need them. Christ said to forsake all and follow Him. He didn’t mean we had to get rid of everything we own, but we needed a spirit that said we would if it were a necessity. If we could just cast our burdens on Him we would find life’s journey a lot simpler and a lot less complicated. It starts with faithfulness to Him by putting Him first instead of all life’s junk. Now that’s the way a trip ought to be taken, isn’t it?

OK, we finally got out of the driveway and have gone 10 miles and now she wants me to find a restroom. What is it about women and traveling and 600 restroom stops? Now I have to find a place that is as sanitary as an operating room and we just left home. Yes, dear!

Dr. Gerald Hallmark is a retired minister living in Alexander City whose column appears here each Friday.