24! That is the number that Patti will blurt out “if” you ask her how many times we have moved in our 34 years of marriage. After looking for a table to crawl under when the head’s snap towards me with glares that smack of… “What the hell is wrong with you Paschall? You’ve moved your wife 24 different times?”, I usually shrug my shoulders and murmur under my breath, “mmmmm… take it up with Him jerkwad. He runs the show.” I don’t know what else to say. It is what it is.
I have no regrets about any of those moves. I do wished I would have bought stock in U Haul way back there, but who knew? Every move was part of the design for our life. Only one of those moves seemed to be solely our idea. The rest involved some kind of job or ministry purpose. A few were slightly unpopular or tension filled moves, but all-in-all we eventually saw the good in what we we were doing. Our kids seriously believe there is gypsy in our bloodline. We have no argument to refute.
So you know where this is going right? The long discussion about “the move” to Georgia is over. Again, we (yes, both of us) know He is in the soup. With the increase of responsibility and relationship with the ministries of Adventures in Missions, plus the obvious reality that The Gathering is increasing in momentum, it is right that we get planted in Gainesville, GA. We have worked through the fact that Georgia residency will be 1,400 miles from our kids and grand-babies. There is no view of Pikes Peak, but the Appalachians are beautiful year-round! Southern charm is everywhere and a Waffle House is always just a block or two away. Maybe now IS the time to buy stock in American Airlines because Nana won’t be denied her quarters in a certain basement in Colorado Springs. That’s all good and dandy, but it’s time to get it on. So, will all sincerity, we request your thoughts and prayers as we pack our stuff and haul our loot in early August.
Patti and I dearly love the people who have also become “our family” in Georgia. The way we are loved makes this seem so natural and ordained. We could have never imagined this next step without such an embrace. But it is right, very right… so we go! So long 24! Hello 25!
“Yes honey, I know that is 1/4 of 100. No baby, I can’t shove that up there. Yes honey, we did pray about it. Yes baby, I know what I’ve put you through. Yes dear, I still believe Him. Thanks Babe for going… again. Yes Honey, I love you too!”
We’ve become so obsessed with the hopeful fruits of our faith that we no longer recognize the value of being in the process of faith. I think I’m saying what I want to say: The process of exercising our faith is the righteous part… period! Not that we get what we want, but the fact that we submit ourselves to the mystery and hope of God’s tangible involvement. No one get’s everything they ask for… right? I’m not even convinced that would be good for us. But, we believe again, trust again, and submit ourselves again to the divine affair while believing that He is good and trustworthy, even though I may be disappointed and unsatisfied in receiving what I exercised faith for. I seriously doubt any of us would respect a process that reduces faith to a religious formula. We forget, that like us, He also has a will . He is not a divine vending machine subject to our coins and selections.
I like Richard Rohr’s take on this topic: “Our faith is not in words. Our faith is in a person. Our faith is in God, who is revealing the divine self to us in Christ and in the lives of the Body of Christ. The word calls us into a personal dialogue, not a slavish idealization of words, not a rigid love affair with ideas. That is fundamentalism. The scriptures call us into a personal struggle like Jacob’s. He wrestled with the angel of Yahweh (Genesis 32:24-31). In that personal involvement, in our personal wrestling match with the mystery of God, we come to faith. Faith is not just another competing ideology. It is more a process than a conclusion, more a way of relating than a way of explaining, more a wrestling match than a classroom lesson.” from The Great Themes of Scripture