Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sabbath through life transition

This is the West Coast Affiliate checking in, as Eli Pagel has appropriately named me. You may have already noticed that this blog post has (or had) more of a "Pacific Standard Time feel" to it as opposed to the other great posts that have come before this. However, no surfboards and beach boardwalks are up here.

My lovely bride and I have just "finished" a big life transition - making the move from the greater Oklahoma City area up to north-central Washington state. In the past five months we've: 1) made the 2000+ mile move via Budget truck and trailer, 2) paid mini-storage fees and had a fair dose of flooding, 3) accepted a new position at a local church, 4) lived in a studio apartment, 5) purchased a house on the brink of foreclosure, in short-sale (which, might I add, was the worst self-induced emotional roller-coaster that I have experienced), 6) started a massive remodeling project in said house and 7) learned about and grown in/with a completely new community of neighbors and friends. We've experienced quite the transition!

tran·si·tion - a noun
\tran(t)-ˈsi-shən, tranzi-, chiefly British tran(t)-ˈsi-zhən\
1) passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another : change 2) a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another

A popular, well-followed budget advisor is know for saying something along the lines of, "plan for emergencies - it is not a matter of *if* they happen, but a matter of *when* they happen." In my life experience, the same could be said of life transition. Just looking over the list of what has happened in the past five months is exhausting all over again. So how do I "sabbath" in the middle of this madness? I can tell you that I have been - at best - mildly horrible at it so far. The longer I am in my new ministry position, the longer the wants/needs list grows. The longer we occupy this new-to-us house, the longer the repair list grows. The longer I am with people in our small group at church, the more I realize that I have a lot to learn about these people.

Throughout all this - when does (or did) Sabbath happen? Luckily, I am now blessed to live in a uniquely beautiful part of the country. One short car ride west lands me in the thick of the Cascade Mountain range - probably landing me near Good Mood Food. One short car ride east lands me in the rolling wheat fields of the desert-like eastern Washington plains. Moreover, traveling either direction puts me back in the Creator's different yet amazing creation. But the environment is not the final solution for me. Discipline, or lack thereof, takes a pretty heavy toll on my Sabbath practices. Being so close to the great outdoors, but not taking the time to Sabbath within it is no one's fault but mine. I could look at my responsibility list again and be overwhelmed again. But finding the time to Sabbath and then take Sabbath is something else.

I'm looking forward to finding my new "groove" - my equilibrium of created celebrating creation with the Creator on a regular basis.

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