As a country we celebrate our freedom this weekend. In the Gospel, Jesus sends out his disciples free from luggage to prepare for his coming in every town and place he intended to visit. They are to be unencumbered, focusing on the task at hand. “Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals.” What they were bringing along was much more important: the good news that “The kingdom of God is at hand for you.”
I am inviting us to do something similar. Just for a time this holiday weekend become free by leaving behind anything that you carry along that may burden you. For example, instead of looking down at your cell phone, look up and appreciate the view! Instead of texting, talk to somebody! Instead of taking selfies, observe nature! Go for a walk without your IPod, listening to the sounds of nature. Gather with your real friends instead of becoming friends on Facebook. Instead of video games on-line, play tag with your children or Wiffle ball with the neighborhood kids or have a pick-up basketball or football game. Further I suggest that all of us to not only turn off our cell phones but leave them behind in a hard to reach place when outside gardening or inside reading. Become disconnected for a while. The world will not end if you and I cannot be reached while we are driving, at the beach, at a picnic, or being in conversation with someone uninterrupted by an annoying sound demanding our attention.