Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Itch

Today marks the two-year anniversary of my return to Indiana. I woke up at six a.m. for a breakfast of steak and eggs at the home of my collegiate running coach's home in Nebraska, so I could be on US 80 by seven. I wanted to arrive in Indiana by dinner time. It was mother's day 2007, and my gift to my wife was returning safely.

Six weeks earlier I had driven most of my possessions across the country in a Ryder truck with my brother-in-law. We drove through the night, fueled by Rockstar and unleaded gas at $2.76 a gallon. Throughout the night my brother-in-law shouted expletives as my eyes drooped behind the wheel. What was left for my successive, and permanent return trip was a Mazda Protege filled with clothes, books, and a laptop.

Two years and a move--this had become our modus operandi. From Indiana to Phoenix to Denver and back again--one foot for each year in each state. By the time Liz and I felt settled, we uprooted. In fact, we'd become so efficient at moving, I wrote an article for Relevant Magazine's website that was published: Transience - Life by the Lease.

In reality, I'm not sure we ever felt settled. Both Spirit and circumstance influenced us. The religious discontent that drove me to the house church movement, and then further to the communal living experiment, surfaced the essence of my discontent. I wanted to experience the transforming power of God's church, but also balance a budget and birth some babies.

Neither movement nor community are the solution to spiritual discontentment--our Heavenly Father is the remedy. Movement and community are proper means and fruits, but they are not the goal.

Like Paul, I have not achieved the goal (Phil. 3), but I press onward. My current context is no more conducive to apprehending God. I could've done that in Phoenix homes or Denver communes. At times I did. What is different, however, is the comfort of my own skin. It doesn't itch anymore. The pollen of discontentment no longer compels me to sneeze and scratch and move.

Of course, that might change if I can't solve this confounded dandelion problem in my front lawn.

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