I am thinking about relocating. I know. Shocking to many, that I want out of NJ. Absolutely perplexing, with all that NJ has to offer. In thinking, considering, planning a move, I’ve had serious tunnel vision. Boston or bust. I love New England. So, for me, I’ve not taken a moment to consider options.
Last night/this morning, I’ve been visiting the reasons that I love Boston and New England so much, versus what I want to do when I grow up. I love New England for many reasons, primarily because, for me, it is my symbol of freedom. The first place that I drove when I got my first car was to Boston to visit my friends. Most of my personal vacation time has been spent in New England/Boston. My favorite sporting teams are housed in New England.
One of my other favorite spots in the nation is San Diego. Again, it is a symbol of freedom to me. My first real vacation, on my own, was to San Diego. I flew out there, rented a car, navigated the territory, all alone. So, though I know that I could not be a resident of Southern California because I’d be the meanest person living there, I enjoyed my time there and I would like to visit again.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about, chewing on, cherishing the passions that God has placed in my heart. Objectively, these things cannot be achieved if I were to live in Boston. Right now, spiritually, I need a mentor, a group of mentors. I have to find deep spiritual relationships, people who can challenge me to become more than I am and who I can challenge to become more than they are. I would love to travel the world, preaching the gospel. I would also like to travel the world, planting churches over which local, indigenous people are leaders. I need training for this. I’m not talking seminary training, though I certainly will take classes here and there. It is imperative that we all grow intellectually as well as experientially.
So, I’ve made a mental list of a few places that I would love to visit, to research because they have some amazing churches where God is moving and people are changing.
Washington, DC, for example. I am continually amazed at what Mark Batterson is doing at National Community Church. Or Anderson, SC. Perry Noble and his staff at Newspring are taking South Carolina by storm. Or Atlanta, GA. I’ve admired Andy Stanley’s father for years, and what Northpoint is doing blows my mind. (Sorry chillpastor, I don’t see myself becoming a Methodist.) I could go on and on and on. The point that I’m making to myself is that I have been short-sighted, or even blind, as I’ve considered relocation. Maybe a move south is in my future. I do love grits. And I do use the word y’all more than any self-respecting Yank should 🙂