I had the opportunity two weeks ago to meet many people from Jon’s family I had never met before. Unfortunately, it was because Jon’s Papa passed away after a short battle with cancer. Fortunately, we did not only have to grieve his absence, but rejoice in his reunion with his Lord and Savior. As I shook the hands of aunts, uncles, and cousins and saw others being reunited for the first time in years, I wondered why we were all now just getting together. Wouldn’t have Papa loved for all his family to surround him when he was present?
Back in the spring, my mom asked me what our plans were for leaving DC and returning to the Carolinas— the question we no longer dread because if we did, we would grow weary every week. My mom told me that her hope/expectation that we would return if Dad’s cancer came back with a vengeance next time around. Sure, of course, I want Jack to know his Pappy. I should spend time with Dad, especially when I am reminded that he won’t be here forever.
Why is it that when we really remember and mediate on the truth from James 4—that we are “a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes”—we desire to be close. We want to forgive. We wished we had spent more time together. I am thankful that we sometimes get those last opportunities to avoid regret.
After this week, I feel pressure, again, to ask myself whether or not I am passing up an opportunity to avoid regret by continuing to live 8 hours away from home. Should I take advantage of the fact that I love being with my family and spend a lifetime in the same state, or do I have a healthy balance of holiday visits, hour-long FaceTime chats, and vacations?
It could be that our years or lifetime in DC are not a selfish life choice. It could be a time to trust that God has me in the right place for the perfect duration, as long as I continually pray for His will to be done and to trust it will work itself out.
If this life isn’t really it. Then living around the corner or across the world shouldn’t matter all that much if we are followers of Jesus. Right?