As I write this, my wife and I are in a motel room waiting for our furniture to arrive at our new house in the morning. Our old house is not ours anymore and our new house just became ours a few hours ago. Actually the mortgage company says we can live in it for 30 years of payments…what a deal.
Being in ministry has caused my family and I to move many times. We’ve lived in five places in Kentucky, one in Virginia and one in Tennessee. The last few weeks I have told my wife often that this moving experience is a new exciting adventure, new place, new friends, new shopping, etc. She smiled and kept on packing. We both have tried to encourage each other because moving is very stressful. Everything you own gets put in a cardboard box, loaded on a massive truck, and then I’m not sure where they actually go with the truck before they unload it, some type of moving truck purgatory I guess.
There is a lot of raw faith applied in moving. You trust total strangers with all of your earthly belongings (except for my Taylor guitar and my lap top that we packed in the car). You have faith that nothing gets damaged or lost in the move and that it all gets to the house and eventually it all gets unloaded and un-packed. At our last house we had a few things that stayed in boxes for over a year. Anyway back to what I was saying…moving brings out the best and the worst in all of us.
To be honest we are both physically wiped out. However we are not finished yet so we’ve got to get up early filled with new energy as we meet the truck and the packers or at this point un-packers and instruct them exactly what room all the boxes go. Actually my wife is going to do that. I would say dump it all in the front yard so the neighbors can see just how much stuff we have.
How is moving like discipleship?
1. It makes you prioritize your life. We decided that much of our precious belongings we no longer needed therefore we had a gigantic yard sale. Discipleship should cause us to prioritize our life often in order to make sure our lives are in line with our walk of faith and are not cluttered.
2. It makes you more trustful. You trust the truck driver, the lawyer that you’ve never met at closing, hoping you are not moving on Elm Street next door to some crazed neighbor with a deep seated hatred for men of the cloth. The whole thing is an experience of trust. Discipleship at its very heart is trusting 24/7 in Jesus for all your needs.
3. It makes you thankful. As a family we are blessed to own a home. This is house number seven for us. Most of the world lives with out any type of shelter. I do not know why I have lived in seven houses and many people around the world have never even owned a house. Part of being a disciple is expressing thanks to the Lord for all His blessings and trying to help those who struggle with basic needs like housing.
4. It makes you more aware of people. The neighbors and friends you have left behind and for the new friends you anticipate making. We pray we will be good witnesses of the love of Christ to our new neighbors. A disciple is always aware of the people around them (work, play, shopping, etc) and the natural opportunities to share and minister in the name of Christ.
5. It makes you more dependent on the Lord. To be brutally honest we think we moved in the right city, the right neighborhood, at just the right time…we think! The whole experience is a huge step of faith. We will see how this new chapter of life reads in the days ahead. A disciple is constantly making and taking small and large steps of faith each day, as we are totally dependent on Christ. The Bible says, “We walk (live) by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor 5:7)
We don’t really know what our new neighborhood is going to really look like when we unpack in the morning, but we will keep walking by faith. After all that is what a disciple does.