After two years of living in the quiet suburbs of Raleigh, North Carolina, my family and I are moving back to Washington, D.C. It wasn’t a total surprise, but when we first got the news, we had to make a mental adjustment.
Living in the suburbs hasn’t been perfect, but it sure has been comfortable. In addition to me having a great job here, we’ve made some good friends, and we’ve appreciated the many conveniences of life in suburbia. And now we’re about to pack it all up and go back to D.C., a change that’s literally unsettling – not because it isn’t a good opportunity. But moving is hard work, especially when you’ve got a couple of toddlers to take care of at the same time.
My wife and I don’t want to drown in the stress that comes from uprooting and moving to another state, so we’ve been taking time to get really still and meditate on some of the accounts of Jesus in the New Testament. It has been keeping us sane as we make preparations to move.
For example, the other night, we read the story about how the disciples got into a boat and went fishing after Jesus came back from the dead (John 21:1-14). I guess they figured their ministry with Jesus was over, so a fishing boat made sense to them – it was a comfortable place for a group of former fishermen. But after fishing all night, they didn’t catch anything; and the next morning, they looked out at the shore and saw a mystery Man.
“Did you catch anything?” He asked.
“Nah, man,” they said.
“Well, why don’t you try throwing your net on the other side?” He said.
They did what He suggested, and so many fish swarmed into the net that they couldn’t pull it in.
“Oh my gosh, that’s Jesus,” John said, and Peter threw his coat on, dove into the water, and started swimming for the shore. And that’s where he found his old Friend waiting beside a fire, where he was already preparing fish and bread for them.
After my wife and I saturated in that story without discussion for about 20 minutes, a peace came over us, and the story of scripture became our own. Yes, we are comfortable in our suburban boat, but through the circumstances of life, Jesus is calling us to dive into the sea and go meet Him on the shores of Washington, D.C., where He will be waiting with exactly what we need: Himself.