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Onward

FOCUSED ON THE GOAL, PHILIPPIANS 3:12-14, THE MESSAGE

“12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”

I have been in a state of transition for a long time now.  Slowly my life has been picking up speed and moving in an eastward direction.  Being in a long distance relationship with someone who lives 1200 miles away has had its challenges.  It has meant that I emotionally made the transition far before I have physically made the move out east.  Being here has been difficult.  It has been a spiritual challenge to stay present when a very large part of me wants to be somewhere else.  But as challenging as it has been, it has also been really exciting too.  The momentum of the physical transition has picked up.  Right now I’m sitting in the midst of boxes and getting ready to sign over my house to the highest bidder.

I’m learning a lot about myself in this time.  I’ve learned that I have far too much stuff, stuff that has no other purpose than to take up space.  I have become blind to a lot of it and anesthetized to my own consumption.  By no means would someone look at the amount of stuff that I have and say that it is outlandish.  In fact, compared to most people in my own neighborhood even, my household footprint is below average.  But there is something askew when 90% of your belongings are boxed up and you still want for nothing.  Not once have these boxed items been missed.  In fact, I almost prefer my simplified life.  There is far less to clean up at the end of the day.

I’m reminded of a conversation that I had with a young man in Tanzania.  He was really excited to be talking with an American.  He had so many questions about how we live.  In the village that he grew up his mother or sister spent half their day waiting by the water pump.  He wanted to know all about our plumbing and our houses and all of the things that we could fill our houses with. You could see his eyes light up with envy as he began to make mental plans for embarking to the U.S.  But I had to burst his bubble.  I had to tell him that the way that we live is not always the best way, its just a way to live.  We consume far too much and there are people that have a huge problem with this.  And he was shocked when I told him that there were actually television shows that would come in and purge your belongings and then make your house over.  So. Much. Stuff.  As we sat in his hut on mats around the open fire pit soaking in the smell of the roast, we both agreed that more is not always better.

I’m grateful for a lot of things right now;  I’m grateful for a fiance who I love with my whole heart, for two little animals who supply me with endless entertainment and affection, for friends, family and colleagues who are so supportive, and to God for using this transition to wake me from this slumber.  As I move forward towards the goal I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve learned along the way.

 

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