While jogging a few weeks ago, I took a turn down a street I normally pass by. This is nothing new for me. I like to try and get a little lost while running. It keeps the exercise fresh. Kinda like role playing. I’m kidding. Maybe.
I also like to look at houses while I’m out there. Jogging. I’m perpetually on the search for our dream house. You know…
– flat driveway for Father of the Bride late night basketball games
– large backyard for soccer, football, wiffle ball…and for our dog to run around plenty.
– somewhere outside, front or back, that looks like a great sweet-tea sipping spot
– enough room for a family of 5-6 folks and students that come over in troves at all hours of the day.
And that’s about it. Nothing huge. Nothing fancy. Just about right.
Well, on this day, on this route, I found it. I jogged right by our dream house. And I fell for it. Hard. So much so that I spent the rest of the run figuring out how in the world my family could be in that house one day. And that led me away from ministry. Quickly. For two reasons:
1 / The money I make on a full-time youth ministry salary would never be enough to get me in that house.
2 / The imagination I have for God to bless and provide and wow and take care of us beyond our wildest dreams would never be enough to get me in that house.
So I thought of all the other things I’m gifted and talented in. Professions that pay well. Really well. And I found my mind drifting. I found myself wandering. I was looking to find myself at a new desk somewhere. Picking up a sweet paycheck. Saving up for a down payment on a house. I was searching in my mind for all these things…
Instead, I found something else.
Acedia. And I was face to face with the little monster.
So here I am. A few weeks later. Still sitting at my old desk. Wondering about wandering. And marinating in this question: am I person number one or person number two? Do I have no regrets or do I wish I could change things? Am I content with the way my life has played out or am I yearning for a do-over? Do I want to keep moving forward or push to fall backward?
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove writes in the Stability book I mentioned yesterday something incredibly profound and powerful. Especially if it’s true.
Maybe the single most important thing we can do if we want to grow spiritually is to stay in the place where we are.
Man, that sentence nailed me. Instead of letting my mind run while I’m running, I’m going to really give that last sentence a try. Let it soak into my life. Dig roots filled with stability. Fight off acedia. Pro-actively. Even when it’s just a little seed. Especially when it’s just a little seed.
And who knows, maybe years from now, I’ll be writing to you from this same old desk. But in a brand new house. Exhausted from a long night of driveway basketball with my kids. Sipping on sweet tea. Filled with gratitude. Maybe as much as I have right now.
Because even now, especially now, I’m incredibly grateful for this desk. For my house. For my son. For even just teaching him the word “ball”…much less playing ball yet. And most of all, for my wife’s sweet tea.