Monday, November 2, 2009

90 / 10

"I am going there to prepare a place for you."
John 14:2 (NIV)

Pulling over to the side of the road, the driver of a loaded-down SUV rolled down the vehicle's window and inquired, "My family is moving to the town up ahead. What can you tell me about the people?"

"What were the folks like in the town you left?" replied the fellow who stood on the roadside.

"They were great! Kind, generous, and helpful," the motorist responded.

"Well, that's what you'll find up ahead," came the encouragement.

Packed to the hilt, the minivan stopped alongside the road and the driver asked, "My family is moving to the town up ahead. What can you tell me about the people?"

What were the folks like in the town you left? replied the fellow standing on the roadside.

"They were horrible. Selfish, self-centered, and thought only of themselves," the driver answered.

"Well, that's what you'll find up ahead," was the reply.

So, the decision has been made. You're moving. Moving is 90 percent attitude and 10 percent tactics. Granted, not all relocations are of our choosing. How we respond to the transition, however, is up to us.

Not surprising, God's Word offers us beautiful insight into moving. Let's look at the life of Jesus as He prepared to leave this earth and return to His Father in heaven.

Luke 9 tells us that Jesus set out with deliberate determination for Jerusalem. A time was fixed for His leaving. Setting His face like flint, He knew the time and He had a clear, certain foresight of the plan. Convinced He was not alone, He was certain He would not fail, become discouraged, nor be disgraced or ashamed. What confidence!

Concerned for those He was leaving behind and anticipating their future hardships, Jesus prepared His disciples for what was to come. He told His friends about His imminent betrayal; counseled them about His suffering, death, and resurrection; encouraged their troubled hearts; assured them He would send another Counselor, the Holy Spirit, in His place; and promised a future bearing much fruit. Praying for their protection, He left out nothing. What compassion!

Whether a move is planned or unplanned, expected or unexpected, wanted or unwanted, it can quickly become a truckload of anticipation and enthusiasm thrown together with a trailer full of disillusionment and disappointment at unmet expectations.

Take heart, my friend! No matter what journey you are on, no matter where your travels take you, you can make it. If you remain confident in Who is leading you and show compassion to those who journey alongside, it can be a real moving experience!

Below are basic strategies that have helped my family pack up our belongings and unpack them again in a different home. Also, check out After the Boxes are Unpacked, an excellent resource for those in the throes of moving.

Blessings, dear friend.
Faithfully Following

  • Be patient. Give lots of reassurance to those involved in your move.
  • Purchase a notepad, e.g., legal pad, spiral notebook.
  • Start lists, e.g., addresses that require updating (insurance, bank accounts), utility changes, school documentation needs.
  • Keep appointments with your current dentist, doctor, hair stylist, veterinarian, etc. This buys you time at your new location.
  • Set aside an emergency fund for unexpected financial needs. New construction, resale, or rental, no house is perfect.
  • Assemble a "survival box" (for the new location) that includes trash bags, toilet paper, black marker, masking tape, ibuprofen.

  • Mark boxes for transport, e.g., son's room, master bedroom, kitchen.
  • Provide a treat for those helping you move, e.g., donuts, pizza.
  • Don't get too upset over broken things. Something always breaks or gets damaged. Remember, they are just things.
  • Relax and go with the flow.

Push on
  • Expect a positive outcome.
  • Unpack one room at a time. Get out of boxes as soon as possible; but remember, Rome wasn't built in a day.
  • Ask questions.
  • Find a church home.
  • Meet the neighbors (write down their names), borrow an egg, bring them a batch of brownies.
  • Ask for referrals, e.g., nearest hospital, plumber, babysitters, car mechanic.
  • Go to the Chamber of Commerce for local information.
  • Make it feel like home, hang pictures (spackle is your friend).
  • Hold off large decorating projects. Experience your house. Walk around its rooms. Imagine the possibilities.
  • Remember those you left behind. Your leaving created a hole in their hearts, too. Think of them with a phone call, e-mail, or card.

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