During the spring and summer many military families can begin to experience a high degree of anxiety. It is called “posting season”. Now many of us have experienced a move or two in our life time. However, have you ever been forced to go to a place you have no desire to go? With the price of homes skyrocketing across many places in Canada, people are worried when they are being told that they have to go to Ottawa, or Trenton, or Comox, BC, or many other communities. Finding an affordable home can be difficult. If you have children securing daycare can sometimes be hard. Learning a new job can be challenging. Finding new friends might not be easy. Finding a new church might also be difficult. A move is never easy.
If we have ever experienced a difficult move we can relate to the various stories in the Bible when God told people to “Go”. In Genesis 12 the Lord told Abram to go to Canaan. The Bible makes things seem easy but I assume the conversation that Abram had with God was more like this.
- God, “Time for you to go to Canaan. There I will make you into a great nation”
- Abram, “Can’t I become a great nation here?”
- God, “No. Now pack up.”
- Abram, “Is there a forwarding address? Where in Canaan am I supposed to live?”
- God, “You will figure this out when you get there. Now get packing.”
- Abram, “What about a moving company?”
- God, “They don’t exist yet. Come on. Pack up.”
- Abram, “What if my wife doesn’t want to leave? She likes it here.”
- God, “Did I ask for your opinion? Or her opinion? Get moving.”
- Abram, “What am I supposed to do there? How do I become a great nation?”
- God, “Oy Vey. So many questions? I should have picked dogs as the superior race! Listen Abram. Trust me. Just leave will you! I’ve looked after you in the past I will look after you now”
- Abram, “Ok, Ok. Just one more question. Do I have enough donkeys for the move?”
- God does a face palm!
Nothing is ever as simple as it seems. If you have ever had to write a biography or obituary you know that a few short words does not convey the full story. Mr X was a doctor. (It does not elaborate on the many years of studying and tests that Mr X had to endure to become a doctor. Ms X was a mechanic. (Nothing is told of the years of study, and scraped hands and knees trying to fix something). Mr and Mrs Y were proud parent of 3 children. (Nothing was said about the many sleepless nights, or rebelliousness of the children during their teen years).
Let us think about your church. “X” Presbyterian Church got established in 1912 (or whenever). Nothing was mentioned of the people having to go around sharing their faith and building up the church family. Nothing was said of the financial sacrifices many people made to build the church. Nothing was said of the decades of work that followed to keep the church going.
Nothing that we do as individuals or a church is ever “easy”. Yet, as God guided Abram, God continues to guide us. We may not always know where we are going but we have committed to God to keep going. We will have our ups and our downs. The journey is part of the adventure. May God’s blessing be upon all of us.
Written by Maj Kenneth MacRae, Chaplain for Canadian Armed Forces currently posted in Yellowknife, NWT