You live different. Your patterns change. You’re forced to adapt the way you eat and move about. This is good for me to experience. The instinct of my flesh is to settle, root, even in places where I can’t imagine it possible. Like here. As the orange dust gathered at my feet, I watched the Lord build a home for our family. And this house of grace is how he sustained me. It’s where I carved comfortable out of insecurity. Where the unknown became familiar. Even in the harsh realities of Uganda, the Lord was generous to shape for me an environment of grace that held me gently, while wildly uprooting a portion of who I was and the dreams I had for our family.
Now I return as a visitor. No longer resident to this place I once called home. I am unsettled. And everything that is happening to me is temporary. So I receive it with more grace than those years when I lived here. I’m getting dirty knowing that clean is around the corner. I’m riskier. Braver. I’m okay with less control because it’s not really an option. I seize moments knowing they won’t last. I invest in what really matters. And without a home to welcome people, I enter their spaces. I’m fed at their tables. I use their resources. This humbly places me on the other side of hospitality. The side I struggle with. But givers and receivers are necessary partners in hospitality. May we be people who vulnerably approach God through both experiences.
Here is what I am learning: In the temporary life, there’s this fine line between joyous celebration and complete irritation. I ride the line gently, stumbling in and out of both responses but mostly choosing joy. These fleeting moments are valuable. I don’t want to miss them in my grumbling. I don’t want to pass them up by looking to our next venture. I don’t want to dismiss them by focusing on the frustrating realities. I want to celebrate the moment. Embrace where the Lord has our family. And delight in the parts that are filling our soul.
The temporary life. We must learn how to live faithful in it because it’s where we all are.
It is good of the Lord to build us houses on this earth. It is faithful of him to provide for our needs, to deliver us through struggles and carve us places that hold us. But as we seek comfort and settlement, may our roots never grow too deep we aren’t available to go to new places. And when our towers reach to the heavens, may God humble and scatter to accomplish his purposes. And in these fleeting earthly moments, may we live a little riskier. Speak a little braver. Release control. Seize moments. Enter the uncomfortable spaces of others. Invest in the things that are eternal. Give and receive as the expression of our love.
For all of this will one day pass. Our houses of brick will crumble. We will leave behind our stored up treasures. Our flesh will fail us. And the created world will be restored to a heavenly eternity.
May our hope and assurance of this eternal future reinterpret the way we live in the fleeting moments of now.