September 8, 2012

Feeling Very Moved

We have just moved. Again. This move marks the forth move since my wife and I got married back in May of 2008. Yes that means four homes in a little more than four years.

Now it is not entirely our fault that we have moved so often. Life just kind of kept changing. School ended, children were born, jobs changed. The combination of these life events simply caused us to move.

When we moved in July/August 2010 I swore that I was done with U-Haul and other 'do-it-yourself' moving companies. This is not a reflection on the companies, my experiences with them have been fine. I just was so exhausted and so grouchy the last time we move I knew I wanted to pay movers next time. 

I remember after a long day of moving everything was finally out of the old place and into the new place and it was about to sit down and enjoy the customary moving feast pizza. My wife ordered the pizza. And when it arrived much to my chagrin Meghan and ordered one with the works, and one covered in mushrooms. I hate mushrooms, and there they were sitting on both pizzas.

I am ashamed to admit I lost my temper. I accused my wife of being selfish, of not thinking about me and of only buying for herself. Then I stormed off to buy a pepperoni pizza. Not exactly a high point in my life as pastor, or Christian husband and father.

This move I did call around to price movers. And after I looked at their costs and our budgets and once again picked up the phone and booked a 'do it yourself' moving truck. Now thankfully this move did not result in any full fledged blow ups.

Seems About Right
The move came at the end of a very long and very stressful week. Very serious health issues were plaguing two members of my family and we had been in to a hospital or medical center every day. But the time I picked up the moving truck no one had slept well all week, and everyone was running on empty.

There were times when many of us felt tired, and frustrated. I know there were times when I was simmering under the surface and I suspect I was not the only one.

Moving has made me think about human nature and sin. Jeremiah 17:9 says, 'The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?' This is a somewhat more grim perspective on the heart than we are used to hearing. Often we advise people to follow their hearts, and to trust their hearts. But God seems to have different advice. He tells us to be careful because our hearts are deceitful.

In the Old Testament the heart become short hand for the entirety of a person, our nature. God is saying at our core we have a very serious problem, our heart is not properly functioning. What we need is a heart transplant, a new nature.

Moving for me is a good reminder of this. My old nature, my sin nature lurks its head when tired. Or when I am poorly feed. Or when I haven't had my morning coffee. Or when I have had a really people intense week without any time for personal recuperation. Or when I am feeling sick. Or when I have to wait in a lot of lines. And on and on I can go.

In fact it seems that I have to discount an awful lot of bad behaviour, or at least a strong desire to behave badly for me to come to any other conclusion then  '[my] heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?' 

It is because of this I am so grateful that God also says this, 'Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!' Ezekiel 18:30-32 God offers me a new heart and a new spirit in Christ.

What about you, have you had your heart transplanted? Has God given you a new nature in Christ? Do you still struggle with your old nature? Moving and a lack of coffee are my triggers what are yours?