I pack a tent wherever I go.
I don’t sleep in my tent, mind you, but when I visit my tent, I find rest.
For years, I have carried with me a tent and an altar, though I didn’t have it name for it until recently, after a study of Maybe God is Right after All by Cynthia Heald. In her journey with God, Heald carries a “tent” and “altar” with her at all times, like Abraham in Old Testament times.
Her tent: a cloth bag.
Her altar: a Bible, journal and devotional book, all carried inside her tent.
My tent is a gift from a friend. She decorated a black canvas bag for me, decorated with a shiny crown and my initials. Inside my tent, is my altar: my Bible, a new journal and whatever book or books I’m reading.
At home, this portable tent sits at my bedside, near a stack of other devotionals and books and magazines where I go to enter into God’s presence. But when I leave home, the portable tent goes with me. I meet Him through the simplicity of a black bag.
In my tent, I find rest.
“Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. — Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)