I am reading Around the World in Seventy-two days (2015, Ichthus Publications) by Nellie Bly*, who was a young reporter in 1889. She knew making connections was the key to getting home in 72 days. Therefore, limiting her luggage was essential.
She wrote, “Packing that hand-bag was the most difficult undertaking of my life; there was so much to go into such a little space.” Between that bag and her hand-satchel, she managed to pack all her necessities except for one dress, which she left behind.
On November 14th,1889 Nellie Bly left New York by ship heading for London.
As I contemplated how much easier that trip would be today with wheeled carry-ons, I began wondering what I would take. What is essential for a trip of 72 days? And for recording the journey?
My mind wandered. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. What did the pilgrims pack for their trip to the new world and freedom from England’s rule?
Then my thoughts flew to Egypt of old. What did the women of Israel pack? There wasn’t even time to bake bread. No suitcases on wheels either. They could only take what could be carried across the Red Sea.
I checked Scripture. Exodus 13:18b tells us the Israelites were armed for battle. Thus the men wouldn’t be carrying household items or clothes to help the women. I can imagine the women and children carrying a bundle each. Maybe some unleavened bread, a pot, bowls, a wine sack, some cloth. But Scripture doesn’t include a list. Not even a clue… or does it?
Exodus 15:20-21 reads:
“Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing.
“And Miriam sang to them: ‘Sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.’” (ESV)
All the women were prepared to give thanks, even if it meant leaving another item behind.
I have to admit, if I was escaping Pharaoh’s tyranny I don’t think my tambourine would come to mind. My keyboard is too large to take. But if Miriam came by to remind the other women and me, maybe a comb and piece of waxed paper could be my instrument.
Seriously, as I enjoy Thanksgiving Day with my family, we will be reflecting on our many blessings and, as the gramma, I will share Exodus 15 (above) to encourage my children and grandchildren not to wait, but to be prepared at all times to express their gratitude to God and others, who impact their lives. .. including each other.
BTW. There's an extra blessing for me! My youngest sister is driving here from UT! I haven’t seen her for several years.
Now back to reading Nellie Bly’s book.
* Pen name for Elizabeth Cockran