I’m not sure if I’ve ever read a devotional on leaving but it seems appropriate to write one. After six years in Colorado, a destination I arrived at with no expectation of ever moving again, once more I find myself getting ready to pack up a moving truck and transport my family. We are leaving the Rockies, a beautiful city, a great church, wonderful friends and a place we truly love because of health reasons. It seems that for some of us, living at a high elevation (almost 7,000 ft.) comes with a cost and it is one that is not worth paying if it can be avoided.
We are going to southwest Virginia, to a state I lived in as a child and experienced the loss of my mother and yet, have great memories of friends. We are not sure where we will be living but we are excited to be closer to many of our family members, and to live in an area with many exciting ministry opportunities. Plus, there will be lots of air!
Leaving means moving. Change happens. Life is not stationary. Packing. Selling. Our home sold without us putting it on the market. God revealed our destination in profound ways—providing through friends a house to stay for over a month, so we have time to get settled. I think of the Israelites walking with so little, carts pulled by animals, livestock to be tended carefully with a measured pace crossing an arid land. How thankful I am to have a truck!
Leaving means the end of a chapter. It has many ramifications. What is familiar goes away. Relationships will change. Sadness will wrap itself around us as we say goodbye to those we love. The view of spectacular peaks will fade from memory to be replaced by new views. Dry air will become humid. Mountain culture and values will be missed.
Leaving means reflection. Did we accomplish what God called us here to do? (I hope so.) Are we finishing strong? (I believe we are.) What did we learn from our time here? What should we take with us and maintain? What do we jettison? Is there any unfinished business, relational work left to be done? Who can we honor? Who should we thank? Is there help we still need?
Leaving means faith will be exercised. The God who led us here will lead us there. We do not fear the unknown because we are known. The promises that we live by today will still stand tomorrow. This is just another blip on a temporary planet as we head closer to our eternal destination. Leaving means we are closer.
What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.—Thucydides’ account of Pericles’ funeral oration
©2021 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)