“If We Were Meant To Stay In One Place, We’d Have Roots Instead Of Feet…”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s calculations, the average American will move 11.7 times in their lifetime. Cara and I are each coming up on our eighth move (two of those prior to marriage). 3.7 more years to go!   Yikes!
Cupboards, drawers, and closets are great for storage, but curses when it comes time for moving. Once again, Cara and I are painstakingly processing, thinning, culling, selling, giving, and “retiring” (dumping) all that will not be making move # 8 with us in several months. Everything else is getting boxed and staged for a 1,530-mile journey to our new home.

So much life passes before one’s eyes and fingers when making sifting-and-sorting decisions. We touch what is sacred; we remember; we relish shared history and story; and then we release. Objects in boxes or back corners of crowded drawers were there with us in those memories. They became the custodians or icons of a memory; a shared story. But they are not the encounter, the experience. They are the storyteller. Memories are sacred, material possessions are not.

In one full week (from your reading of this Thursday-evening all-church email), I will be on the road with our son Caleb. He will be driving a rental U-Haul with me (one car in tow) down to our new home in Buckeye, Arizona. Surely a three-day, scorching journey into the hot lands of Maricopa County. Our hope is to move everything now so that our last month can be a calm closure instead of a frenetic, mad dash to the finish line (that’s what we are experiencing now )! Our goal (and our prayer each night) is to “finish strong, finish well!”

Moving means saying goodbye as well as hello! It means closing off one chapter and opening a new one. Moving can be disorienting and even frightening. It can be easy to become lost or scared or unsure when you transition from one familiar and predictable reality to an unknown. I love what comedian Rodney Dangerfield once said, “When I was a kid, my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.” There is this very real sense of “lost” and “found” that happens when we move. It’s as if we are letting go of a previous self to find out what new self will emerge.

Who are we and what or who will we be in the next chapter of our lives? That is a profound question for me. My whole adult life has been devoted to living and working and relating and functioning as a --- “Pastor!” Who will I be in July of 2024? Will I be settled and certain in my “Grandpa” hat? Will there be a different kind of ministry that we attach ourselves to? So many ponderous and uncertain questions still linger. But they will only be answered in my going. This was precisely the journey of Abram.
“The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.”
Genesis 12:1 NIV
Only in “going” do we actually “find out” who we are, where we are, and what we are to do. This was true for Abraham. It is also true of reach of us. In order for us to be the blessing that God created us to be, we have to be mobile, flexible, sendable, humble, teachable, pliable, dependable, and resilient for change that will certainly stretch and challenge us. All of this will be a huge part of our next chapter for sure. Truthfully, we are excited more than we are daunted. We have uncertainties and unanswered questions about what life will be like for us in this next chapter, but we believe God is with us and has gone before us. We are also believing this for our OHFUMC family for your next chapter and future journeys. For each of us, God is waiting on the other side for us so we can continue our journey with Him.

“If God is for us, who can be against us?”  (Romans 8:31)

Pastor David 😊

1 Comment

David G. Lura - May 2nd, 2024 at 7:11pm

You have such a "moving" way of preparing both yourselves and those who remain. I again commend you and will miss your expositions. dgl





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