How many times have you moved this year?
I had not thought of that one so I had to take a second. At the beginning of last summer, I lived in the hallowed halls of the Mountain Lodge Apartments in Birmingham, Alabama. I had been there for over three years, which to this point, has been my longest stay in a single house since I moved out of my parent’s place ten years ago.
When I moved into the Mountain Lodge, I was starting my second year of seminary, and had decided to find a place with my buddy Matt. Students had occupied the place for around seven years running, so it had sweet grandfathered rent, to go along with an inherited smell and grunge look that defines bachelorhood. A couple of years later, I added to the ambiance of the place when I raised Delia the puppy from six-weeks old. The place was a wreck when I moved out, but by that time it was my place. I was in charge of handling bills, negotiating rent, keeping the place clean, and approving new roommates. When I moved in, I owned a couple of backpacks worth of crap, and by the time I moved out last summer, I had a tool-chest full of tools, two guitars, and a full-grown dog.
My odyssey began by moving into my friend Jim’s house, but that only lasted a few months. I was on my way off to Seattle, so I sold all the stuff I had accumulated over the years, packed up my truck with the guitar I would never sell, and Delia. I was off to explore a new place and follow my girl, so that move was an easy one- especially when Jim told me he was getting married and selling his house.
So I have been in Seattle a year next month, and it’s safe to say that I have bounced around. I can save you some of the details and say that in the last year, I have crashed at my cousin’s house, rented a spare room for three months, crashed again at my cousin’s house, and since moved in with another buddy. Oh yeah, and in October, I will move again, this time in with my wife-to-be. By my count, that makes six moves in a little more than a year.
And as wild as the last year has been, I think it will all be worth it when I finally am home.
In a way, I feel like I have lived an entire life in the last year. I have started to see that situations in life, temporary as they may be, have a sense of sacredness attached to them. There is rhyme and reason to a turbulent time, just as there is rhyme and reason to life, in general. And it is all headed in the same direction my life is currently hurtling towards. Home.
I think that I have been particularly blessed to be single late into my twenties. I have enjoyed my days of unaccounted-for time. I have enjoyed my nights when my only responsibility in coming home was Delia, and taking her for a game of fetch before she exploded for excitement and suppressed energy. I have enjoyed living life on my own.
But now I have been given a compelling reason to change my way of life. There is something new, something unknown, and yet something so attractive that I am ready to change my way of life. That something is home.
And so I am reminded that the haphazarduos pace of the past year will mean something. It will be redeemed. It has purpose and it has an end goal. I am going home.
I think the kingdom of heaven is a little like that.