catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 11, Num 6 :: 2012.03.16 — 2012.03.29


A messy life

I hate cleaning.  It’s never been my nature to be a clean person, so I’ve kept to this routine of cleaning once a week, or if life gets hectic, once a month.  I remember when I was a Marine and I would have to clean my living quarters for inspection day, and I would wait until the night before to do it all. Let’s just say I have yet to learn the art of “clean as you go.”  Figuratively, in other areas of my life, I have yet to master this art as well.  It seems to take mistakes caused by lack of wisdom for me to realize that I need to remove some clutter from my life.

Last year around this time, I thought I’d be living in Savannah, Georgia by now.  I and my wife and our daughter were going to be a part of a new church that was going to be planted there.  It felt as if we were heading in a good direction, of being part of something bigger than ourselves.  It was something new and thrilling to think of in the planning stages, and we saw it as a huge leap of faith to go to a new city, considering we both lived in the same places for most of our lives.

Packing up our belongings after spring semester of college ended, we headed south.  We stopped in North Carolina, storing all of our stuff and ourselves in my in-laws’ house, and we were going to spend the summer there figuring out where we’d live in Savannah, even taking the five-hour trip there to scout it out.

But as summer was closing and fall semester was nearing, we found it difficult to close the distance between where we were and where we thought we were supposed to be.  Nothing seemed to be coming together.  Our money had dwindled, finding a place to live was proving to be difficult and we were questioning whether we had made the right decision.  So we ended our plans altogether and decided to stay in North Carolina. 

Over the last several months, I went from having no job, to working retail around the holidays, to finally going back to school, and we are now in a place where we can start looking for a home of our own again.  Yet I find myself wondering how to learn from all of this.  Did we make the right decision?  Where do we go from here?

To learn the art of “cleaning as you go” seems useless.  I’m not sure that I’ll ever acquire that skill.  I think the only knowledge I have grasped is that life does not conform to our plans and that our plans are not always right.  It’s difficult to fully know the direction to follow, whether it’s our will or God’s, and we always have to stop and re-evaluate ourselves at various points along the way. 

I like to think that if God wanted us to be in Savannah, it would have been clearly indicated in our movement toward it.  Instead, I feel I’ve dragged my family a thousand miles away from where we were to a place we’re not even sure of.  Because stopping here wasn’t part of our plan, it almost feels like we’ve settled for something less.  It feels like life’s a mess and that we’re in a stage of having to figure it out all over again. 

And for now, I’m okay with that.  I can handle not having a plan and not making any further decisions that might clutter my life any more than it is already.  My family is in a position now where we are just as able to experience community as we could have in Savannah, and perhaps it takes this feeling of uncertainty about where life is taking us to really motivate us to find clarity and to have a better understanding of where we are headed next.

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