Can I be the best of both worlds? By “of,” I mean “with.” And by “the,” I mean “my.” Of course.
Visiting where I grew up presents a relief from one fear, and offers a new one. For the time that I spend with my family, I do not have to fear the full burden of responsibility that my day-to-day life offers—which is nice. However, reclaiming an old lifestyle—if even for a few days—scares me.
I was really frightened of how much I was enjoying myself (and all the amenities that Western civilization offers) when I returned “home” recently. Let me tell you a little about my current living situation, if you don’t already know.
I am exactly four months into twelve months of a life more simply lived; the nearest Wal-Mart is an hour away, the nearest fast food establishment is 45 minutes away, and the nearest neighbor is half a mile away.
These circumstances have been very good for my personal growth in so many ways, and I’ve accepted their positive influences. However, somewhere along the line I confused my own personal needs with morality. I think I knew very well that I needed a break from most modern conveniences, for varying reasons. But when I began to reject those conveniences, I simultaneously judged them as bad (for lack of a better word) because of my tendency to use them for enabling weakness in my own character. When I came home, I was flooded with surreal “city” opportunities (We can go see a movie in a theater? We can be in a restaurant after 10? We can drive somewhere, and be there, in under 15 minutes?), and I relished them.
Naturally, I tried to put a cap on my fear by pretending I wasn’t scared of anything. I was just uncomfortable. Right. That was it. I was getting uncomfortable because I wasn’t used to being in the city—which was ok.
But I wasn’t ok. I didn’t know what to do about the parts of me that reveled in the city and the parts that screamed, “Betrayer! This path wrecks trees!”
Then God saved me from myself. A couple of days after this event and I am still floored by His message: “There is no fear of regression in Me.”
That phrase means so many different things to me, but I’ll just say one: The city and the country are elements in the process of making me who I was intended to be. And if God is directing those elements to guide me, there’s no need to worry about losing progress just because something from my past is re-introduced. That’s the end of that story.
(I really like the part where there’s no fear.)