In Haven Kimmel's novel, The Used World, there is a wonderful description of the effect of time and decay on an abandoned house, on the gradual process by which the house loses its quality as a home. One of the main characters visits her rural homeplace, walking through each room, noting how the memories of sounds, smells, and sights, while still faintly present, had faded. The home was well on its way to becoming a mere house.
I'm moving my office today. It doesn't really compare well to moving from a home, but still I will miss the place I have spent the last nine months. I packaged up all my pictures and various diplomas within two hours, and I'm sitting now with a few open files, my phone, and my laptop. It's already changing. Most of what I remember about this room is what I brought to it, and those being loaded on carts and moved, not much is left. In a few minutes I'll shut the computer down, take my coat off the coat rack, and walk down and around the hall to my new office, and that'll be it.
I'll miss the trees out my window and the morning sun which is a great comfort when you face a difficult day. "In His light we see light," says the Psalmist, and I'll miss the morning light. I'll miss the trees too, reminding me of how durable we are when we are firmly rooted in God's promises. I'll not forget morning prayers looking at an oak tree that is older than me (some things are), reminding me how temporal life is, how we are moving through in route to our real Home, our ultimate (and most fulfilling) work, our lasting and enduring eternal relationships. The squirrels moving through the branches of the trees and birds perched on a power line were also great companions, as this office, in a somewhat isolated area of our building, is alone. But I was never alone.
But enough of this sentimentalism. I have judgment to exercise! Once again, the tares of obsolete or superseded periodicals must be thrown out, the wheat of current, useful reference books saved. I may judge poorly. Ensconced in my new digs, months from now, I may wish I had kept this or that. I am fallible. And yet the process reminds me that my Mover is lovingly and perfectly judging me all the time, cutting away the dross of bad habits and saving and adding to what is good, conforming me to the image of Christ, steadily telling me to press on.
He, the One in Whom we live and move and have our being, says the Apostle Paul, is behind all our moving. As Jesus says, He is preparing a place for us, and we are being prepared for that place. Every habitation, whether office or home, is a dim reflection of the deep settledness we will know there. And I'm ready. Things change. God doesn't. Thank God, we do.
Before I save and power down, before I shut the door one last time, let me just make this disclaimer: I get attached to places. Can you tell?