Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Value of Being Present

Throughout much of the past 9-10 months, as we began planning and taking steps for a major lifestyle change for our family in preparation for life on the road full-time, I have felt a great tension. How do we do all that we must do to prepare for what is ahead of us while remaining present where we are?

No matter what the circumstance, whether it be preparing for a marriage, a job change, the addition of a child to your family, moving homes, or any number of major life events that require preparation, I'm certain that I'm not alone in feeling this tension. The tendency to prematurely pull away from that which you will be leaving behind after the change is a tough one to counteract.

We have become deeply rooted in our present community. We are invested in a school that was our reason for moving to Indianapolis and has become our extended family in town over the past 10 years. We helped plant our church in the community where we live 5 years ago and have grown to call it home. We live our daily lives among some of the most fantastic neighbors we could ask for and are blessed to call them friends. For a place where neither Jason nor I grew up and have lived for just a few short years, we have found ourselves surrounded by so many great people in our "village" that I want to treasure every bit of time with them while we are still in close physical proximity.

For this reason, we held tightly to our dream and specific plans until we could no longer keep it to ourselves. You see, as much as our excitement is overflowing, the bittersweet side is that now that everyone in our village is caught up to speed with where we're going, we now are faced with the challenge of remaining present where we are and not looking too far ahead to where we're going.

Do we want to sell our house and possessions quickly and buy our new-to-us truck and RV ASAP?--ABSOLUTELY! Do we want to be so focused on where we hope to be three months from now that we miss out on everything here and now?--ABSOLUTELY NOT! As our life on the road will be about learning to enjoy the journey without worry of the destination (partly because we don't know when/where our final destination will be), we're doing our best to live that now.

Will we talk your ear off about our plans and preparations and share more details than you ever thought you wanted to know about RVs, trucks, road schooling, minimalist living, veggie oil conversions, etc.?--Only if you want us to. Will we act like life is continuing on as usual? Definitely. Because it is. Our version of life-as-usual just might look different from your own, but that's often the case when we delve deep enough into one another's lives.

Our lives for the next several years will involve a constant state of change of both scenery and cast of characters with the places that we go and the people that we meet. We can choose to keep people at arm's length, knowing that we'll soon be traveling onward, or we can choose to invest in the lives of people that we meet, not knowing if we'll be spending the next 2 months near them or if after today we'll never meet again. Now is the time for us to practice not "checking out" early, but being present where we are and continuing to invest fully in the people and things that we love while we are still physically present among them.

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