Sunday, January 5, 2014

Psalm 32:7: God's my island hideaway

I'll be moving into the leftmost apartment in February, and I don't know how to feel.

I really don't like change. Even though I despise monotony, I don't do well transitioning from one thing to the next, at least as far as the buildup is concerned.

At the end of this month, I'll be moving to (relatively) far-away Scappoose. For the first time in my life, I'll live west of the Willamette river, and outside of the immediate Oregon City-Beavercreek area. I'll be further from my nearest friend's house than I've ever been, and more than 10 minutes away from my home church.

But it's not the distance that has me feeling... what ever this is. It's simply the fact that I have to leave a place that I've grown comfortable. My current apartment in the McLoughlin district of Oregon City was a gift and a blessing, and I've become attached, and though I don't move for a month, I've already become melancholy.

It's a frustrating emotion, honestly. By definition, melancholy doesn't really have a cause, at least one you can pin down - and I can identify with that. My sadness, though there is somewhat of a legitimate reason for it, is a little out of place. My excitement should be the right thing to feel, and yet the only thing in my heart is a gripping fear of the unknown.

Where does that come from? and more to the point, what causes my troubles with moving on?

Part of all that has to do with a yearn for comfort. One of the coaches I work with on a regular basis always tells me that a major part of his job is reconditioning the athletes to do what is right when they're pressured, not what's comfortable. It's human nature to chase comfort and security, and when we get into a difficult position, that is what we revert back to.

My apartment, as my personal space, became a safe place. It's somewhere I can relax and be myself. I can lay on the floor (as I did while working at Starbucks) after a long day at work, and I can dress how I like without fear of "judgement".

It took some time for it to really feel like home, but I was excited to move in to the new place. It represented freedom. It represented independence, and while this new move to Scappoose represents many of the same things, there is also loss involved.

As silly as it sounds, I can tie it to the feelings I remember from when I left my parent's house at the end of last summer. Oh, that I would have been writing back then. It was a sad - and slightly traumatic - experience for me, to leave the only home I had ever known and step out into the world. While I have a move or two under my belt, it's not all that much easier to pick up everything, uproot myself, and move across the metro area.

Maybe it's that I'm not looking forward to the hard work it is to pack things and move. I know I'm afraid to leave things behind, though I'll be back in town at least weekly. There's also some fear in there. Will I end up spending all my time home alone with my cat? Maybe. But more than anything else though this experience today, I've learned that I need to reexamine where I find my security.

Things change in life, that's a given. Jobs come and go, people drift in and out of life. The journey in this world has ups and downs, it's just the way things are. And because of that, we can't base our happiness, security or safe-place on something in this world.

I love The Message version of this, one of my favorite verses:

"God's my island hideaway, keeps danger far from shore, throws garlands of hosannas around my neck." -- Psalm 32:7

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