Sunday, August 14, 2011

Purging and Packing

Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that." – James 4:13-15

Through several reassurances from the Lord, we understand His will to be that we continue moving forward with a plan to arrive in Eatonville, Washington sometime shortly after Labor Day.

Bonnie has felt very reluctant to proceed with such short notice, and without a defined mission of her own (except to support me, once again). After being counseled by a pastor from our church, she felt much better about the role she perceives she's been given. Only a few days later, though, all the doubt and anxiety crept right back in. The conclusion we are driven to is that this is exactly what is meant in the Bible by "fiery darts," those thoughts and doubts that don't actually originate in our minds, but are inserted there by the devil's minions to divert, distract, and demoralize (Eph 6:10-20).

I have been fighting some of the same battles internally, feeling discouraged on some days and losing sight of the goal (Jesus), for no apparent reason. The passage from Ephesians, mentioned above, discusses putting on the full armor of God. One of these elements is the shield* of faith, with which we extinguish the devil's fiery darts. I am beginning to believe that the assignment of spiritual property to each piece of armor is not random – faith is the perfect defense against the invading discouragement.

Yet, God has been abundantly merciful and continues to bolster us through the troughs. For instance, immediately (ie, minutes) after praying for some encouragement, I received several calls for items I had for sale on Craigslist. When Bonnie was feeling negative about the difficulties of the next few years, we received great encouragement from a pastor. When I was feeling negative and alone, my friends were there for me. And after our first (very successful) moving sale, our neighbor said he'd never seen so many cars at a sale in our neighborhood. That's God.

Trusting that God has a plan for everything, we plow on ahead. So, putting our hope in him, Screen Shot 2011-08-13 at 8.13.28 PMwe have tentatively made plans for the trip and reservations for stops along the way.

Should life unfold according to this particular plan, we will leave Tucson on Saturday, September 3. Our first stop will be San Bernardino, California. On Sunday, we tackle LA traffic (hopefully light on a Sunday Holiday morning), and end the day in Redding. On Labor Day, we have a shorter drive and a break on the Oregon coast at a cabin in Umqua Lighthouse State Park. On Tuesday, we hope to reach our destination.

We've reserved a POD for whatever remains. Whatever doesn't fit in a 16-ft container will have to find a new home. And, in about 2½ years, we hope to have The Great Moving Sale #2, disposing of the rest of our "treasures".

My fun-car is for sale. Craigslist - 16 Quite literally, it's a question for God: is this something You want me to sacrifice? I have priced it reasonably, neither high nor low, in order to take my own desires out of the picture, and wait on Him to provide an answer. It makes me think of this passage from Mark, after Jesus tells the rich young ruler to sell everything and follow him: "But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions." Ahh…I've had some "great possessions"…

…all of which will burn in the end. So what are they really worth?


*Edit: This said "helmet" for well over a year, which just goes to show that I ain't the sharpest bulb in the drawer.