by Christine Sine
I am getting ready for a busy travel season. On Friday Tom and I head to Canada for a week. In September I go to Cinncinati, October to Chicago and November we will be in Australia. One of the things I find is that moving around as much as this can leave me feeling disconnected from God and spiritually dry so I always like to put together a travel kit to help me focus and enrich myself during my journeys. This year I decided to be a little more intentional about it.
I looked on line and found all kinds of prayer tins that are designed for on the go spirituality but to be honest most of them are just too small for me and I really wanted to create something that reflected who I am. So I went scavenging through my growing collection of tins and found this old Scottish shortbread tin that had belonged to my aunt. It is a perfect size for me. Room for a few prayers, a couple of photos, a few colored pens, a cross, an “on the go” labyrinth, a small icon, and even a little cloth that I can spread out in my room to anchor me in a way that makes the place I am visiting feel like home.
I like to use the card sets that I have created over the years (my favourite is still this Celtic set) which also give me a sense of continuity and stability but choose your favorites, or print out a couple of your favourite psalms. One important item that does not fit in my tin is my journal – with some lined pages and some blank for creative projects, but this is well worth the extra space it takes.
These kinds of resources can really help us find stability and peace in the midst of busyness and stress.
On the Go Devotional
One of my other travel rhythms after booking in for my flight and passing through security is to buy myself a cup of coffee and then finding a relaxing place to sit and center myself for the trip. I used to travel with a book of morning and evening prayers, my favorite being David Adam’s The Rhythm of Life: Celtic Daily Prayers
However these days there are so many “On the go” prayer options that I tend to use these instead. My favorites are:
Sacred Space – Daily Prayer with the Irish Jesuits
Pray as You Go – also from the Jesuits. I love this daily prayer for your phone.
Then on the way home I put my journal in my hand luggage and spend the first part of the flight reflecting on my trip and what I have learned. It is a wonderful way to bring my time to closure as I commit it and all that has happened to God.
Design Your Own Travel Kit
You may not be doing as much travel over the next few months as I am but all of us are on the move and I find that a kit like this is helpful even for day trips, so here are some suggestions as you put your own kit together.
- What small object makes a space sacred for you?
- What helps you center yourself on the presence of God?
- What helps you focus?
- What stirs your imagination and provides creative energy for your day?
- What relieves your stress and helps you unwind at the end of the day?
What other suggestions do you have to help us all negotiate the constant movement of our society?