Nancy and I are in the midst of the moving process. I believe the research that concludes that moving is one of the most stressful common activities. I suspect the stress comes in part because of the feeling that everything that normally feels permanent is now temporary.
Here are four normally stable realities that are currently in flux:
1. Our house, the place where we feel safe, the place where we are comfortable, the place where we go to escape stress is for sale. In a sense, it no longer belongs to us. At any moment, potential buyers could call and ask to walk through. Our privacy has disappeared. We now live as if we are on display. This is stressful.
2. Our stuff; our food, our clothes, the things we use daily, the things we haven’t seen for several years, has all moved. Most of it is boxed in the garage. Some of it has gone to charity and friends. Some was found to no longer have any value and thrown out! It has all moved and some of it has moved somewhere where it can’t be found. For example, I need to inflate the tires on my hand dolly, but I can’t find my air pump!
3. Our Spokane relational connections. The people who we have grown to love and enjoy seeing regularly. We are leaving neighbors, church friends, and colleagues. These people will no longer be close and we are mourning their loss.
4. Our favorite doctors, dentist, mechanic, grocers, etc. It took years to find these people. We have grown to depend on them. We trust them and enjoy their service to us. Leaving them and facing the challenge of replacing them is daunting.
This feeling of change and loss is a good reminder that everything that is seen is temporary. It is the unseen things that last. It is short-sighted to depend on houses, stuff, relationships, vendors, or anything that will not endure beyond this world.
Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)