Moving Is Hell
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy.” – Matthew 6:19 (NIV)
Moving is hell. Just stay where you are. It’s not worth it.
First, there is the packing.
Done well, it is an exercise in unburdening yourself of all inessential treasures to share with grateful people who will find their joy perfectly sparked by your weird junk.
Done poorly, at the last minute, you throw your tax returns, the TV remote and a can of expired soup into a box that will later arrive on your new doorstep with no label, other than a note from God saying, “What were you thinking?”
I did it the second way but here’s my excuse:
Moving from Iowa to Michigan, instead of spending time carefully packing, I pre-grieved and gave thanks for the beautiful church I had pastored, for friends and neighbors who made me laugh on my last summer nights in town. I took in every bloom in the tiny city garden I’ve planted against tough sandstone bluffs, where night after night, a brilliant cluster of lilies obstinately reserved their biggest blooms for whoever comes after me.
Now in Michigan, I wish I’d spent more time sorting and organizing, as I sit surrounded by boxes that appear to have been packed by evil elves.
But in a box I don’t remember packing, I discover old black and white family photos I’ve never seen before. In another box, marked 2022, I finally find the toilet paper. Which box holds the most value? Right now, it’s the second, but later, it may be the first. As people who change, aren’t we always packing and unpacking?
Yes, moving is hell, but at least the Holy Spirit moves with us.
If I should move, move me. If I should stay put, settle me. Where I have landed, ground me. Unpack me, dear God, unpack me. Amen.
Lillian Daniel serves as Conference Minister with the Michigan Conference UCC. She is the author of Tired of Apologizing for a Church I Don’t Belong To and When “Spiritual But Not Religious” Is Not Enough.