Monday, April 14

searching for heaven on earth

The air is thick with a promise of spring tonight, mixed with the smell of turkey burgers that remind me of summer. My family sits in conference in the kitchen, arranged in a semi-circle, with the promise of spring blowing through the window on our backs. The sounds of disagreements and the clinking on forks on the white plates do not make this an extremely restful place, but it’s familiar and safe, which is even better. I savor moments like these like I savor Mama’s sweet tea.

Familiar and safe: two things I needed very badly. I moved back home to Jersey from Brooklyn last week because of an unlivable rooming situation. Now I can enjoy the last month and a half of my internship with Heron with a safe and quiet place to come back to. Other than the bad situation, a big reason I decided to commute from home was that my family will be moving to San Francisco at the end of the summer for my dad’s job. It’s something we’ve been anticipating for a while, and it’s a good and busy time to be able to be with my family, especially since I don’t see myself moving out there long-term with them. (I’m actually thinking and praying pretty hard about moving to a smaller, cheaper city with a large deposit of Grovers.)

My big epiphany from all of this which warrants this post is simple: there is no resting place for me on this earth, and oddly, that revelation’s been very comforting. I was surprised to find that the wealth disparity and the shrinking middle class in New York makes me depressed in a way only someone steeped in the liberal arts can be about such things. I realized that you need to make a lot of money to be safe in New York, and that’s not a life I have the energy for right now or maybe ever.

I have this weird guilt when visiting a church or helping with a volunteer event – I’m afraid to commit when I’m not 100% sure that I’ll be able to follow through. What this spring has taught me more than anything: that’s really not in my control! God asks me to commit myself to him and his will for today only. I am promised no tomorrow and it is not my concern to promise that to anyone else. I don’t dare love others less while I wait for some extraneous circumstances to change that will make me feel better about committing and then having to leave.

I’ve realized I will never feel this hypothetical safe and cozy belonging feeling until I’m gazing into Jesus’s face, so while I live my life until then, I think I’m going to finally be okay with being a traveler on this earth. A certain city won’t fix my extroverted craving for vibrant community. A certain church won’t meet the thirst in my heart for intimate worship. God in his goodness might choose to give me those things anyway, but I don’t think I need to hop from place to place and go through excitement-disillusionment-restlessness-move, constantly searching for a place to rest and call home. Frankly, it’s an old routine, and I’m still very young. So my new routine will look more like trust and giving my whole life to where God has me.

That's what's up.

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