We are surrounded by boxes: most sealed, some beckoning to us to be filled to capacity. Many more objects confront us as we enter rooms demanding that we do not forget them.
When we move we generally experience a great deal of additional life stress.
In a recent poll, 61% of people voted ‘moving house’ top of their stress list, with it triggering more anxiety than relationship breakdowns, divorce and starting a new job. (So says an article from the Daily Telegraph)
As the last of the ‘white goods’ gets pulled forward to expose years coveting dust, a chip (?) and a washer from somewhere, we clean floors and skirting board not expecting to see light again until the next occupants move. Lampshades get taken down, curtain poles get replenished with the correct number of rings, and those DIY jobs which needed to be done months ago are rushed through. [In our house the kids said that DIY stood for ‘Destroy It Yourself’ – please don’t pass that onto the new occupants!!]
We have a book which we use when moving house, as we moved fairly often in the military. So:
- Power Utilities; Water; Telephone and Internet; Council Tax: Check
- Bank accounts; Supermarket club cards : Check
- Insurance for contents, building and car: Check
- Pension: Check
- Mobile telephones: Check
- Extras: Blood Donation; Library; Medic & Dentist; Amazon; Abebooks; Ebay: Check
- Vehicle Registration and Driving Licences: Check
- Post Office mail re-direction: Check
Have we forgotten anything???
With much of our furniture unable to fit through the doors of our new abode we currently sit in garden chairs in the living room, imagining we are at the sea-side, the tide moving in and out. Pity the freezer is off as that means ice-creams are out!
Now we do also have wonderful vistas of clean walls, resplendant with holes fillled and the odd picture hook.
I wonder what you can see?
The pictures which once hung there are safely packed in paper and tucked into packing boxes. Cherished images which once brightened up the room now await a new dawn, a new room. In a few days (we hope) we can release the tape on each box in turn and slowly, carefully, unwrap each parcel and wonder where it will grace the room. The image to the right just abounds with possibilities, opportunities of what can hung there and what joy that will bring. Hold on to that hope!
Soon we can start to fill the bookcases (we have a few it would seem) with books which haven’t been seen for a week or so. I’ll apologise now as I will no doubt sit down and read a bit from some of the books as if they were long-lost friends, acquaintances to be refreshed, renewed. Hey, what’s wrong with that?
The desks, separated into their component parts for the move, will be rebuilt (recall DIY above please) so we can use them for eating and studying. The bed, kindly part built by our wonderful next door neighbours, will have the bolts added to connect the headboard to the main body. The restraining bolts on the washing machine will be removed and put back into a bag and safely stored until the next time. Worryingly, some of the furniture needs to be built ‘in-situ’: DIY aargh!
But these are mere objects. What of the people we have met in our time here?
We are in the process of saying our goodbyes to the various groups my wife and I have become attached to (willingly!) and now need to cease being a member. The members of the Street Angels group, StreetSource, kindly invited us both to a buffet when they had their summer meet-up. What a joy to sit back and cast an eye over the many friendly faces who so graciously give up their time each weekend to help, support, listen and care for all others in this Lincolnshire town. The parents of LGBT children group we once formed and have since passed the baton onto an amazing lady – they have been so supportive. The 8 churches across the circuit have been so kind and helpful to us throughout the years. The neighbours are always watching out for us – their cats so loving. We will dearly miss all of these people but the treasures they have offered will remain in our heart.
So what of our future?
We, at our ripe age, now become students for 2 years. We will learn about how to be an effective deacon, how to live ‘in community’ and ‘in a city’. For those who I have told what I am doing, informally calling it #vicarschool, exclaim ‘Oh wow! Good luck!’ It beggars belief in this secular world to side step the gravy train of the secular world and enter an old profession ‘with no future’. (Forgive the irony please) These very thoughts have occasionally struck home in the wee hours of the early morning. You then go back to the calling heard some time ago, to the comments from others who confirm the calling, to the seeming myriads of interviews which have tested that calling and to God’s hand on your life.
More importantly we will learn to trust more and more in God.