I loved high school. There certainly were things I could have done without, but for the most part, my memories of everything from 9th grade prank calls on double-sided swatch phones, to middle-of-the-night conversations about life and love on the beach during senior year spring break, are fond. During the weeks and months leading up to graduation, my girlfriends and I bathed our days with sentiment. Like any nostalgic teenager, envisioning they were saying goodbye to their best years, we memorialized every “last” event.
It’s starting to feel like that around here. Except this time the sweet “lasts” are peppered with more encumbrances like last haircut, last power-bill payment, last raw milk run.
The inertia of this move is reminding me that I’m one who thrives in more “static” environments. The pull of God has been strong enough that I know if we stayed here, we would be missing out on His best for us. But my body doesn’t really like all the new breezes of change. I love routine, structure, order. Even just the word “systems” sets my heart racing. And for the unforeseeable future, my very small world is getting set in motion. A different motion.
This is a picture of how my angle of God is shifting: God is a God of seasons. While I believe He, too, loves order and structure, He moves in different ways, in different people, at different times. Much different than how I’ve spent a good portion of my christian life assessing Him–God is dynamic.
And more than just the move to Kansas City, the notion that God is bringing me into a different “season” seems to be upsetting my stomach.
It took me at least a good few years to get warmed up to the truth that struggle does not always indicate a cause-and-effect relationship. When I finally stopped asking “what have I done to get myself here?” and embraced the Jesus I found in that very dark attic, it seemed His move in and through my pain accelerated. Like the back-end of a bell curve, it began to take less circumstantial pain to bring about the necessary change in me. My spiritual broken bones, that came after fractures, served to make me much more sensitive to the later splinters. The prayers that came as a result of the worst of it (God, use everything …every little thing …so that I might know You more ) became more readily accessible in just a little bit of stretching.
All to say, the landscape of walking with God in the midst of pain is one I know well. And the side of God I’ve met in the midst of pain is one I’m coming to know well.
But that is only one dimension of God.
And the great shame of Christianity is when one of its followers decides it’s better to get comfortable with the one aspect of God they’ve become acquainted with, rather than following that dynamic Deliverer to the next season to discover the other hundreds (if not thousands) of dimensions of Himself which He wants to reveal. And the drought-stricken fields–full of those who have left the rest of their spiritual bodies to atrophy at the expense of exercising only one limb–are vast. Sometimes I think Christianity is becoming defined by them.
As much as I want to stay here, in this town, in the house we built anticipating it would be the one that would see our children into their tens and even twenties. As much as I want to stay, really, in this season that’s provided a very familiar look at the God who perfects through pain, it’s time to move cities. It’s time to start a new season.
I don’t believe I’ve mastered this season, or even this dimension of God. But much like I have felt every Labor Day weekend when a chill sweeps through the air, hinting of fall, it’s time to start packing away my summer whites.
Until next year, that is. 🙂