In my family, there is one thing that is pretty much a given and that is that we will move around. Since I was a child I have moved 21 times not including all the traveling we did in Evangelism or college moves (except one when I lived in an apartment). Twelve of those have been since college. My parents have moved something like 28 times since they got married (including moving to Kenya for a couple years) and Dad is closer to 39 times for his lifetime total. In fact, the only one of us to stay in the same city for more than half a dozen years is, my brother Rick. He's lived in Springfield, OH for more than a decade (though he has lived in three locations at least...so he has moved too).
Because of all these moves, we know what it is like to live close together (you really can't be much closer than 4 people living in a mobile home during our years in Evangelism), and we know what it is like to be far away from each other. When my parents lived in Kenya, I was living in Sacramento, CA. If you used a globe and put one finger on Sacramento and the other on Nairobi, you would find that we were literally at opposite sides of the planet. But, we have learned something...you are only as far away as you allow yourself to be.
Now it is my parent's turn to move again. They are moving to Oak Hill, West
Virginia where Dad is going to be the Sr. Pastor at the Nazarene Church
there. It sounds like a wonderful place and I am excited for them. In this world of computers, cell phones, ipads and more, you really can be connected to anyone no matter how far away they are. You can chat in instant message, text, email, you can skype or facetime...or you can even write an actual letter. (GASP!!! Yes, we do indeed still use the US Postal Service.) Though, it would be easy to let days and weeks go by and not talk to them, no matter how far away my parents are, I generally still talk to them about every day and sometimes several times a day. I want to know what they are up to. They want to know how I'm doing. We have even been known to play games like Yahtzee while on skype. With my brother, though we do not talk all the time, we do text some and I check his
Facebook page nearly every day and I often make comments about the
things he posts. I catch myself hoping that he or Jenn will post a new picture of my nephew or perhaps they will write about something he has done. Rick keeps us updated on his schedule and opportunities that way too. I have messaged my brother theological questions or simply questions about different types of thinking and he always takes the time to answer...even when he is busy. It takes an effort to connect when people do not live nearby, but it is totally doable...if you are willing to put in the work necessary.
The same can be said of our walks with the Lord. It is so often easy to get wrapped up in the happenings of our day that we forget to take time to chat with the Lord. He's always there ready to listen, but we are not always ready to share. Sometimes, I feel like we treat him like on of those Facebook Friends that we don't really expect to hear from, but are excited with they "like" something we post because it reminds us that we need to touch base with them soon. This is something that I struggle with sometimes too. But, like keeping up with far away family, if we put in an effort to begin something, soon it becomes a part of our day and something that we miss when we don't do.
For me, I have an audio Bible that I listen to when I get into my car. It is my morning ritual to start my day by listening to several chapters. It helps me focus and prepares me for what it ahead. I like praying in my car too. The people around me might think I look funny since I often pray aloud in the car, but when I haven't talked with God for a couple days, I miss it. I need that time with Him and He wants that time with me.
So, as my parents begin yet another new adventure in a new place, I plan to go along for the ride with them...from afar of course. They will get texts, and calls and I can pretty much guarantee there will be notes from me in their mail carrier's pouch because I will miss them more than I can express. But, we serve the same God and He has amazing plans for them in West Virginia and I am excited to find out what they are. And besides...they like to hear from me.
And if you pass me in my car chatting away, I'm not crazy...I'm just touching base with my Heavenly Father as well. He likes to hear from me too. :-)