Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Being moved

I'm sitting in my bedroom, or what will soon be my former bedroom. The last night in my home that will soon be someone else's home. No furniture anymore,just scattered piles of things that I will need in the first nights of my new home before my things arrive or things that the movers don't move, like all those bottles of bubble bath and jars ginger sugar scrub. Who wrote those rules?

This has been a long day. I woke up in my bed, stumbled into my kitchen, made a cup of coffee and sat outside on my back porch. For the last time. Then the movers came. I opened cabinets and closets. They took notes, and Travis and his crew began methodically to pack up my belongings. And I couldn't do anything but watch.

Being moved is a very passive activity. Others wrap plates and pack boxes of towels. Others carry your sofa and bed to the waiting truck. You, well, you just stay out of the way. You just sit, making yourself available to answer some questions when needed.

"Ma'am, did you want this packed?" No the trash can go, well, to the trash.

"Are you doing okay?" the head mover, Travis, asked. Yes, I said politely. Just not used to sitting around doing nothing. So I called a few friends, paced around for a bit, walked outside, and fell into a routine fight with an acquaintance via text messages. Nothing like those in our lives who will push our buttons just right. But at least, my shadow side noted, you are doing something.

Until I remembered about being moved. We like activity in our lives. Doing something to solve this problem. Actively praying to seek that answer. Engaging in anything that will fill those quiet spaces in our lives until we are absolutely sure what we should do next. Except that what we should do next is usually something that puts us in total control and complete certainty and lets our egos shout, "I rule!"

Sometimes, even most times, God implores us to submit to being moved, to sit and make ourselves available to answer some questions. To stay out of God's way as God works in our lives. Or just to sit until we are invited to become active again. To be passive while God prepares the space. To be willing to enter into the unknown without expectations or agendas.

So I just sat while the movers did their job. I still had lots of silent thoughts, so I wasn't all that passive. I did think, however, about being moved. How, in this last year, God invited this rather unwilling pilgrim on a deep spiritual journey and how much of that journey was filled with moments of complete passivity and surrender, where I implored God to let me be active, and God said, "No. Just sit." Then when God did give me the go-ahead to move, I found all sorts of excuses to stay put and sit. But God implored some more, then finally gave me a big shove into this new place.

But I'm not quite in that new place. Not just yet. I still have some waiting to do, some holy "being moved" in these next few days until I get to the new place. The human movers are finished, and I'm sitting in empty space. I'll sleep one last night here, then begin the journey to my new empty space where one of my dearest friends will help me unpack. All the while, being moved.

8 comments:

hikerrev said...

I've found those times when I'm longing to be in control, but when I'm forced to concede that someone else (probably G-d) is actually in control, are the most humbling and spiritually gratifying times. Those are when I'm able to most fully experience sabbath.

Traveling Mercies, and blessed homecomings into a new place.

jevcat said...

Having been unemployed for a year, with money now almost gone(and blogged about my own failures of faith in the process), it's good to hear someone else's take on "waiting for God" and be reminded that there is a point to it (if I only I could figure out what it was).

Scott said...

I'm curious why you chose to let the movers do all the packing - we've moved a number of times and always packed ourselves, which gives you a nice opportunity to reflect on all the stuff you have that you might be better off not bothering to move at all.

Alex said...

I'm always moved by your posts, but much more by this!

JC said...

Keep writing, Laurie.

Rev. Rebecca said...

Very nice post. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Susanna said...

As I sit in the chaos of my own soon to be packed and moved house, I am so moved by your reflection. The movers come on Monday and my life then takes on a new and unknown journey as I travel to my new port of call. And yes, they are packing me too-so all I do is make a huge mess and they box it all. I still go through everything, things that are full of sweet memory and just plain trash.

Pam said...

Nov 2010, I began a journey of waiting as I left one church home unsure of where I was going. Rotator cuff surgery at the end of December gave me plenty of reading time and I developed a curiosity about the Episcopal church. I researched websites of local churches and wondered if I would ever find a church in Lexington that would be a good fit. I kept coming back to St Michael's site. I suppose this is church shopping of the 21st century. I never visited other churches. I look forward to growing in my new church community. I am so Happy that you were placed here, at this time!