April 16, 2002
Well, I finally got some direction (smile/sigh)…
I have just completed moving from California back to Mississippi, and am living with my folks in my home town of Leland, MS… (more info)…home of Kermit the Frog and the Annual Highway 61 Blues Festival…
Just now coming up for air…it's quite a task to move "lock, stock, and barrel" across country…starting just now to ponder this.
Although I had been thinking about this possibility for a couple of years (I had actually been coming back here twice a year to sorta 'test it out' a little), it all came down quite suddenly. Feb 4, during my quiet time with the Lord, I started got serious about the feasibility of it, and developing a 'plan'…I approached my parents about it on Thursday; they said 'yes' on Saturday, and the whole thing was set in full motion within a couple of days…there were many, many subtleties involved, but everything came together quickly and well…I bounced the idea off my closest day-to-day friends and my kids, and everyone supported the move…and so on March 12, I left San Jose/Los Gatos and drove to MS. The truck arrived with my stuff on the 22nd, and things were more or less functional within a matter of 4-5 days.
The ostensive advantages to me are substantial: greatly reduced cost of living, proximity to parents and brothers (remember, I just became a single-parent, recently-grieved, empty-nester--it was undoubtedly a mercy of my wise God to move me to my family at this time), tremendously lower stress environment, beautiful (and accessible) nature, and a great writing environment. Since my earnings-work doesn’t require any office-presence, where I live doesn't matter (as long as I have DSL and can get to an airport easily).
But there's more to it, I suspect…the move seemed "sudden" to me, and I ponder what this is all 'for'…I have seen enough vivid providence in my life over the last 2-3 years, that I think more consciously about 'time tapestry' issue now…I 'sense' something different ahead, but have no clue as to what it might be, nor do I have any 'obsession' to find out…"progressive patience-izing" is the theological term, I think (smile)…
So far, it has seemed almost 'dreamlike'…I have worked hard (physically), but the slower pace, and no congestion, and 'calmness of the land', and proximity to everything, has given the 'feel' of something 'abnormal'…I am so used to difficulty, and hassle, and stress, and adversity, that these last few weeks have not seemed 'hard enough' to have been mine…(Ziggy-smile)…I will have to 'learn' how to live this way, similar to how Paul had to 'learn' how to 'abound' (Phil 4.12). [I haven't gotten to the 'abounding' part yet…chuckle…but the 'breathing easier' part is confusing enough…LOL] I pray that I will not atrophy, but that increased fruitfulness and productivity might result (without a decrease in either health or celebration of grace). It's just so different…and I will have to be patient with myself as I try to adjust and learn and adapt to this new God-architected chapter in my life.
I can already tell, though, that this new environment will surface a new layer of 'impurities' that need addressing in my character…sigh…but that's what I signed up for, I remember--"progressive sanctification"…becoming more Christ-like, more pure-hearted, more other-loving, more incandescent in my joy…and the only way to get there is through freedom-creating truth and insight and honesty…
It hasn't ALL being physical work--I have gotten to work on a great project this past week or two or three, about the early church and how it interacted with urban life, for an upcoming conference on Urban Ministry/Missions. (I put a copy of the historical part of my research up on the Tank, at urbxctt.pdf.) That was fairly consumptive--but as all my projects, also challenging, encouraging, and instructive (and a little bit 'shaming', too).
I have had more face-to-face contract with "carbon-based lifeforms" here in the last 3 weeks, than I have had in the last 6 months back in CA--and they haven't been as 'consumptive' as they have seemed in the past…maybe God is starting to change deeper parts of my heart…?…I already have a couple of close friends in the area, from years back, and have begun getting together with them…sweetness, actually.
I delivered a farewell address to the absolutely wonderful Forum class at Peninsula Bible Church (entitled: "2 Peninsulans 4.23-30: Concluding Exhortations…"…[cheesy smile]), which was recorded--the audio (or link to it) is no longer known.
That's all for now…I hope to start being able to produce tank-pieces more rapidly now, but we'll see…pray for me,
Carried in the arms of the Shepherd,
April 17, 2002