Way back in high school, I was required to study a lot of Shakespeare. And even after all these years, I still have a fair portion of it stored in the back of my brain, ready to pop out and serve in the place of more prosaic words when I’m feeling a little dramatic about life.
For instance, I am currently sitting in a cozy chair before a warm fire, with the smell of fresh baked bread wafting through the air and trying to gear myself up for what I know is coming this weekend- the moving back to the trailer. I find that boldly reciting speeches that begin “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!” is a better way to psych myself up than your standard, “Alright! Trailer living! You can totally do this, Nicky! Home comforts are totally overrated anyway.”
Of course, I know better now. After almost a year of living like a nomad and then the unexpected relief of being granted this month-long little breather, I know only too well that home comforts are nothing to turn my nose up at. So I might as well look at leaving this cozy house and moving back to the construction zone for what it really is- a reentry into battle- a battle for patience, a fight for hope, a struggle for contentment in the midst of uncertainty. No use in a soldier being unprepared.
My kids have been struggling with this lesson as well. It’s been hard for them to understand the upheaval in our lives. We have been bouncing around so much this year that I often hear them yearning for the last time that their lives felt stable. I listen to them waxing lyrical about our old, way-too-tiny house in the terrible neighborhood that they couldn’t wait to move away from a year ago. “If we could just move back mom, we would be so much happier!” they pine. “And what do you mean that house was too small for us? It was enormous! It had two whole bedrooms! And besides, we only remember a couple of drive by shootings.”
Or if we find ourselves staying temporarily in someone else’s home, “if we could just stay here mom, we would be so much happier. Everything is so quiet and clean and comfortable. And look at this big screen t.v- with Netflix! I hope we never leave.”
Of course these are difficult things for me to hear from my kiddos and of course there are a million spiritual lessons I could apply to all these conversations with my boys. But I feel like the one we need most is to remember that God has not called us to live a life of looking longingly back over our shoulder to what was, nor of sitting comfortably on our backsides in a cozy, Netflix induced stupor (although don’t get me wrong, occasional times of rest are not only pleasant but necessary). We are called to a forward looking life, a fighting life, a life of stepping out in faith.
And so, after a pleasant respite, I am praying and hoping for the strength for all of us to jump back into the fray, not just to finish the task before us and then sit down with arms folded as if we have finally arrived, but so that we will be able to move forward with the next stage of life that God sees fit to call our family to. (‘Cause I’m not gonna lie to you, I grow a little weary of the whole ‘building a house’ thing)
So, once more unto the breach dear friends. And thanks for praying for us.