I don't like to move. I like to settle into a place and be comfortable in familiar surroundings. So when we built our house in Picture Rocks, I anticipated being there for many years. We were able to make a number of changes in the design, and were pleased with the result.
My wife planted gardens around the house, and I planted more than 1,000 seedlings on our 3 1/2 acres. (I lost track after a thousand.) I bought a lawn tractor and enjoyed cutting 2 of our acres. I wouldn't call it a lawn, but it was nice and green, and kept the dust down. I even had a meditation circle of pine trees that modeled circles that my father and uncle had created on their land.
We added other improvements over the years, and were comfortable. But then our children began to worry. We were getting older (like over 80), and it was over four hours to our closest family member. How much longer could we manage, and whom could we call on for help? They urged us to move, and we decided it was the right thing to do. So we began to look at houses that were close to three of our children and our four youngest grandchildren.
It wasn't easy. Finding a house to buy required a number of scouting trips. In the meantime we began to pack and to downsize the amount of our possessions. I spent many hours by our wood-burning stove burning old papers and bills. Somehow we were able to navigate the process of buying a house and selling a house. And then the time of moving arrived.
When I got stressed, I thought of Abraham, who went forth without knowing where he was going. He left his familiar surroundings to go forth into a new land. He didn't even have maps to guide him. He just trusted in the Lord who had called him forth. And I thought of Jesus who noted without complaining that foxes had holes, and the birds of the air had nests, but the Son of Man had nowhere to lay his head. I thought of Paul, who always was on the move, and I was strengthened by their example to take the next steps in my journey of faith. It is good to have footsteps to follow.
Now, we are settled in our new home. We have found doctors, contractors (there is always something to do) and a new church where we have been welcomed. We rejoice in the closeness of children and grandchildren and feel privileged to participate in their growing up. We have more of life's journey ahead of us, but we trust in Him who said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me" (John 14:6).
And we look forward to that last and best move in our journey.
- Mercer is the pastor emeritus at Picture Rocks Baptist Church.