There’s a line of a song that goes “We were made to thrive”. Those things that cause us to thrive and those things that stress us will be different for different people.
One major thing that has occupied us whilst we have been back in the UK has been house moving. Of course, this began last September with packing up the manse and moving into temporary accommodation but, because we were not planning on being there very long, we only unpacked those things that were absolutely necessary for daily life. We also kept everything – just in case we might need it in our new house!
At the beginning of July we finally moved into a new build house which was considerably smaller than either the manse or our borrowed house. We have had to give away / throw away a large quantity of stuff. Sorting through your possessions and deciding what to keep can either be stressful or therapeutic – for me (Lori) the latter more than the former. One thing that I learned from my first 6 months in Peru is that I really don’t need stuff just for the sake of keeping it – I am happy living with much less than I thought I might be. In the middle of sorting out boxes, deciding what to keep and what to let go of, the house became distinctly chaotic. I have, over the years, become resigned to the fact that I am a tidy person living in a house of messy people – it’s just the way things are. This was magnified with the chaos of unpacking because I just wanted to get on and get things straight with everything in its place but this was not such a priority to some others in the family. I thrive when things are orderly – chaos stresses me.
One other thing that I have learnt about myself over that past year is that I need a sense of routine to really thrive. Since last September we haven’t really developed a new routine – I haven’t yet found a new (at least semi – permanent) rhythm of daily life – and without that I have a tendency to lack focus and drive to get anything done. I find myself thinking “What should I be doing today?” I much prefer knowing what I usually do on a certain day and at a certain time. Without that it is very tempting to just sit in the armchair and read novels or play games on my tablet.
In seasons such as this, where the things that I normally need to thrive are not always to be found, it is all the more important to consciously live with Christ at the centre. In Him we can thrive and be at peace even when outward circumstances seem to dictate otherwise. We know that Jesus is the source of our peace because He said so (John 14:27).
What outward circumstances contribute to your ability to thrive? What stresses you? In the midst of it all, with Jesus at the centre of our lives, these do not need to be defining factors for us.
“Jesus, be the centre
Be my source, be my light
Jesus, be the centre
Be my hope, be my song