Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Striving for Stability

I've begun to realize, over the past year, that I have developed a rhythm of instability. The 12 or 13 years of my adult life have been laced with stories of impermanence and fluctuation. I've failed to put down roots. I've constantly kept moving. In fact, Mandy and I have lived in 10 different homes and 3 different cities in our 10 years of marriage. Yikes.

And now as we near our 1-year-anniversary here in Bozeman, I'm having to fight back some small, yet noticeable, urges to search for the next thing. It seems that even home-ownership has not completely removed this subconscious tendency toward change and instability. It's not like I'm dissatisfied with life and experiencing signs of depression (I have known those feeling before, however) and I'm certainly not leaving my job or Bozeman, but there is just a slight urging within me toward change and upheaval. And it makes sense that I'm feeling that way, because I've spent the last decade cultivating and succumbing to those desires. But I'm tired of that way of life. I'm ready to plant roots, stay somewhere, and foster stability in my family's life. I'm ready to know that my community today will still be my community in 10 years.

I've been reading a book by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove called The Wisdom of Stability that has been really helpful in both illuminating some of my problems and helping me move past them. He says some really beautiful things about community and stability and I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in community, place, and putting down roots. In the final chapter of the book he says this:
"Stay put and pay attention--learn to trust God in the place where you are--and you will have a front seat for the revolution that Christian tradition calls conversion. Stability transforms us along with the place where we are."
These words are incredibly enlightening and will continue to haunt me as I wrestle through this issue moving forward.

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