11 June, 2009

A looser hold

How much more can I say about packing? The boys were looked after by a fellow missionary family today for five hours. It is amazing how much can be achieved in five child-free hours! The outside of the fridge is largely naked (almost all the magnet and photos are gone), the cupboards are echoing and towers of boxes loom everywhere. After that effort, I felt satisfied enough to pick up a book and read for over half an hour. Little step by little step, the mountainous task is being completed and now we're not overly stressed about having this house packed up in time. Unlike back a month or two or even three. Occasionally the reality of what we're doing comes into focus. Tonight, for example, when I told the boys they could help us pack up some of their toys tomorrow. "But why?" they asked. "Because we only have four days left living in this house." I had to reply. Sad, but true. In nearly 12 years of marriage, this is the house we've remained in the longest. But not because we have itchy feet. Almost all of our moves have been ministry related. We've lived in seven different houses or apartments. In this house we've stayed almost twice as long as we've stayed anywhere else. Four years! Not that we're terribly attached to the house itself. It is not our dream house, but it has done admirably for the years we've needed it. Actually, while we're in this missionary business, I hope we never get very attached to a house. Because the grief when we have to leave would be much greater. And, after all, it is just a house. Something far less than permanent or eternal. The missionary lifestyle teaches you to have a looser hold on physical possessions. This is good. As the things and people around you keep changing, your eyes turn heavenward. If they don't you go crazy. We're looking forward to inheriting our heavenly citizenship.


Tim and Susan said...

We felt a little bit like that when we moved from our last house last term in Hokkaido of 3 LONG YEARS...our longest since we've been married as well.


Ken Rolph said...

When Jan and I were first married we lived in 9 places in 11 years. Many of those were communal, then later with a young family. We were married in 1972. Just recently is the first time we have had just the two of us living together in the same place.

We've lived in our current house for just on 20 years. I'm not inclined to get shifted again. At least until the retirement village!