Getting Settled

Vol. 3 No. 45 November 6, 2000

As a result of our moving twice in the last three months, one question that we have been asked numerous times is this: “Are you getting settled?” Quite often I have answered that question with something like this: “Gradually.” Or, “We are working on it.” The truth is that we are gradually getting things done, boxes emptied, books on shelves, furniture in place, and thus working on getting settled into our new jobs, new school, new neighborhood, and new home. Each day it seems that something happens to help us feel more settled.

Yet, the more we settle in to our new physical surroundings, the more I am reminded that perhaps we must be careful not to become too settled in these temporary dwellings. As nice as they are, and as exciting as they are, we must remember that they will not last. No matter how hard we try, we simply cannot escape the reality that life is constantly in a state of change. Before that new car has lost the new smell we see an ad for a newer and later model, one that is faster, shinier and has more features than ours. Before we make the first payment on that new computer we open a magazine and see the next generation of computers that promises to be more efficient, and like the cars, faster and with many more features to simply and enhance our lives. Before the paint dries on our new house we start packing for a move to the bigger house in the nicer neighborhood.

Many of these changes we bring upon ourselves. But many others are forced upon is. Before we come close to learning all the joys of our new relationship we are told it is over and we face the decision of coping with the sudden unwelcome disruption to our lives. About the time we are feeling really comfortable with our life, now that it is just the way we want it, tragedy strikes and everything changes.

As frustrating and unsettling as these things are, it seems that life is designed to be that way. Very few characters in scripture had lives that were predictable. Not many of those that God has used to teach us and encourage us ever really settled into their world. They seemed to be always looking forward to the next adventure. Jesus helped His disciples learn this lesson by telling them to travel light, and demonstrating that there is a kingdom greater than anything this world has ever known. He constantly disrupted their stable lives by talking of His departure. He repeatedly reminded them of the need to leave their desires behind and follow His ways.

The more I read, the more I study, the more I watch, the more I pray, the more I live, the more I am coming to an understanding that apparently I am not supposed to feel too settled in this life. One of my favorite C. S. Lewis quotes (though I cannot give the exact location of the quote) is this: If I find in myself a desire which noexperience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that Iwas made for another world.

As we begin another week striving for that feeling of getting settled, maybe it will provide some comfort for us to realize that perhaps that is a feeling we are not supposed to have, until we finally get all the way home.

Until we get home,

[A Norvell Note is a weekly email message from Tom Norvell. Feel free to pass it onto friends, ignore it, and ask me to remove you from the list, or simply find some meaningful thought to enhance your day. If you know someone who would enjoy receiving A Norvell Note on a regular basis, please send me their email address, and I will add the names to the list. Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy it. ©Copyright 2000 A Norvell Note]