It was a sunny day in Tucson (aren’t they all?). A friend and colleague of mine were off to lunch and a little breathing room in the middle of the day. Jon volunteered to drive. I remember pulling his passenger door shut and commenting “Nice van!”
“Thanks. You wanna buy it?”
“What?” His response obviously caught me off guard.
“If you wannit, make me an offer; everything I own is for sale.” And with that he pulled it into reverse and we were on our way.
We talked a bit more on the way to lunch about stuff and things, and material goods. I liked his perspective. Still do, actually, everything I own is temporary, here to serve a purpose, but since none of it is permanent, it’s for sale — sort of.
The Lord sold my Celica to the insurance company in a snowstorm a few years ago. Only took a second. “Totalled. Here’s your check.”
I survived both the accident and the “sale” of my cute little car, just fine.
Lately I’ve come to view my house that same way. Expendable. We’ve been here almost fifteen years so it’s taken a bit of doing to bring me to this point, but I’ve come to see that a house to a family is a lot like a shell is to one of these little guys:
The Hermit Crab’s shell is not permanent —
It was never intended to be so. Periodically they release from the one they’ve been using and move into another.
But we get attached to things, and I really like my house and yard, so it’s taken a while for me to remember: This house isn’t permanent — It was never intended to be so.
Selling our “shell” now, and finding a different one, may be the best thing for us. Of course if our next ministry assignment or job means we have to move, we’ll of course sell it. If the hermit crab can do it, we can do it.
This house is just a box, really —where we’ve lived for several years, and finished raising our kids— but still a wooden box. There are lots of memories, laughter and tears associated with our box, our shell, but it’s still Just a box; a place God provided where we could grow and mature.
Maybe it’s time for a different one. I’m talking to a realtor Monday morning. A realtor who just so happens to live in the shell next door. I’ll keep you posted.