Sliding into the booth at a favorite restaurant, a friend and I select salads from the menu before beginning a long overdue conversation. And the first question she asks once the menu is lying flat on the table is one that I am currently asked repeatedly by everyone I bump into. A question I can’t answer yet.
“When are you moving to England?”
Though it seems like a simple question, much like the common greeting, “How are you?” I’m aware that often people don’t really want to know how you are doing, they are extending polite interest. My ENFP personality struggles with how much I should share when the date of our move doesn’t really affect anyone but my family. But she is a good friend. She gets a long and complicated answer.
This isn’t a conventional move for us. Not an upward financial decision that means bigger and more comfortable. And that doesn’t fit into the typical box people make for this scenario.
When someone asks, “What does England have that we don’t,” I’m clued in that no matter how much information I spew from my mouth, understanding will be like the solar system.
Like Abraham and Sarah, we are moving to a different country without knowing all the details (Genesis 12). While I would like to think Sarah was concerned about paint colors, lamps, paychecks and choosing a house in a safe neighborhood, I think she was more concerned about obedience. Had she known about the hurdles they would face along the journey, she might’ve let Abraham travel by himself.
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8
If these words in John’s Gospel are truth, then why do we insist on knowing all the details before we risk saying yes to what scares us? No matter how much we attempt to harness wind and condense it down to the smallness of our experiences, the way the Spirit moves people cannot be figured out.
Spiritual movements aren’t rational, predictable or explainable. And they often don’t make practical sense.
But faith that hasn’t been tested isn’t really faith.
On a chilly night during our vacation, cuddled up in blankets with warm cups of decaf, we watched Bear Grylls interview Zac Ephron on Running Wild. Their exchange becomes my opus for the days we have left.
After Zac crawls on his belly across a piece of rope anchored between two cliffs, Bear compliments his ability to conquer fear, leading to a vulnerable admission.
Zac: “Everything in your body says don’t do it . . . but (starting out as an actor) my parents told me, ‘If you don’t break through that wall of fear, nothing good is going to come.’ In my roles and my work, I search for things that are going to push me to my limit.” As he looks out over the horizon, he says, “This has been one of the best trips in the world for me. . . . . being purely in this moment. I feel just completely free.”
Bear: “A real lesson that one, isn’t it? We’re all guilty of that aren’t we? We worry and live in the past or the future and lose the magic of right now.”
Zac: “You only live once you know? Remember this moment, because this is it. Live right now.”
If we are not pushing past our limits to risk bravely for the Kingdom, then what good will come of our life? Everything in you will ask the what, where, when and how questions and God will respond “Wait and trust Me.”
Will you trust Him to get you from one mountain top to the next without knowing the details? Or will you choose to remain comfortable, looking at the same scenery from your living room window?
I’m thankful Abraham and Sarah said yes to the magic of right now, otherwise their story might not have made the cut in the Bible.
Walking out our faith is for the brave, the risk takers and the adventurous who are captivated by the moment, not worried about the future or fixated on the past.
Between sips of lemon water, I tell my friend, “We don’t have an exact date for our move yet but we are hopeful about the first part of September.”
Every time I hear myself repeat the same answer, I live in the moment, thankful for what is right in front of me.