Sunday, May 10, 2015
Moving to Paradise
Last Sunday morning, I woke up with a pervasive sense that something about my life was absolutely wonderful. As I became more awake, I remembered: “Oh, yes – we’re moving to a tropical island this summer!” Ari has accepted a job in Honolulu, starting August 1st. He’ll be working with the ATLAS project (Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System), trying to find potential earth impactors before they hit us. Needless to say, this impending major life change has dominated my thoughts over the past week or so.
It struck me that there are parallels between this good news and the ultimate Good News that fills my entire life with a pervasive peace and hope for the future.
I have work to do to prepare. There are tasks on Long Island that I would like to finish with excellence before we move, so that life in Hawaii will be easier – tasks like getting rid of unneeded possessions (so that we won’t have to ship as many things) and finishing the children’s school year (so we can have a sense of completion before moving, without 6 weeks’ worth of work looming over us as we enter life in the new place). Likewise, the knowledge that this world is not my final destination affects my motivation to get rid of unneeded habits (like excessive unproductive computer time – a current struggle) and work diligently at tasks that further God’s kingdom on earth (like teaching my children about God’s love through my actions as well as my words). If I don’t declutter or finish the school year, we’ll still move to Hawaii, but our stress levels will be much higher and we’ll spend more on shipping. If I don’t get the link-clicking habit under control or continue to teach my children about God’s love, he’ll still love me, but I won’t be as much part of helping his kingdom come.
I need to rearrange my priorities. I’ve spent some time on scheduling so that, instead of the school year finishing around June 30 (the New York reporting deadline), we can finish in the middle of June and I can start packing full-time sooner. This means that I’ve decided certain school tasks aren’t essential, such as finishing the 3rd grade spelling book or covering every concept I wanted to get to in math. In the same way, knowing that my ultimate future is in Heaven means that ensuring my own comfort in terms of free time, money, or control is less of a priority than making choices that will help me know Jesus and make him known. Choosing to spend time in prayer or service, to support people who are telling others about Jesus, and to be thankful even when things don’t go my way has greater ultimate value than an extra half hour of sleep, a bigger house, or making sure people do things the “right” way. I can give up less important things in order to pursue a more important goal.
I want to tell everyone. Because I’m so excited about the move, I find myself wanting to share it with everyone I see. It’s one of the main things I’m thinking about, so it naturally flows out of my conversation. I really want to tell everyone about Jesus and the freedom and healing he’s given me, as well. I think about his love for me and his church worldwide throughout the day, and I want to share it. I confess that fear sometimes hinders me (fear of being obnoxious or too vulnerable), which is worth praying about, and I don’t always know how to broach the subject.
I want to invite others to join me. When I think of all my friends here shoveling snow next winter, I want to offer them a space on our futon in Honolulu. I will miss people here so much and I want to see them again after our move. I will enjoy it more knowing we can offer people a respite from the cold, if they choose to come visit. And when I think of the mansions Jesus has promised to prepare for his children in heaven, as well as the peace and joy I experience in my life now, I want everyone I know to be able to share it with me, to know Jesus and his power in their own lives, to escape from the cold meaninglessness of an existence that ends at death.