Rod commented last month that John Perkins might say, "we are a people with a sense of place."
I (obviously) would agree. I think place is important. Perhaps as important as who you choose to marry is where you choose to locate yourself. For myself, I have committed to living in the greater Philadelphia area (buying a house has given me a greater sense of this) and I have many friends who have done the same. There is always the call, the pull, the draw to change locations...but more often than not, this pull is economically motivated (as opposed to Spirit led). I do not want to be someone who relocates for economic purposes - it just seems so un-Jesus like somehow.
My decision to stay in the Philadelphia area brought instant accountability. My friends (who arguably are an extension of my family) won't let me go without a fight. I've submitted myself to them as my community and I expect them to say, "hell no, you can't go" if I ever try (don't worry I won't).
Let me tell you about three friends and their locations...
Friend 1: Location Philadelphia
This past month, someone I know (someone I now know better and would call a friend) moved into the Philadelphia area in order to be a part of what Jesus is doing in our midst (he's actually moving into my house next week!). He wasn't tied to his location in the Midwest (though he lived in the same town all his life). He hadn't committed to staying there. He's now on the road to committing to staying here. It's a good decision (I'm biased).
Location is important - and I think he realizes this.
Friend 2: Location New England
On the other end of the spectrum, I have a friend who lived in the Philadelphia area for many years and last year decided to move north to New England. He carefully weighed his options and he and his wife decided that New England was the place for them. Not a week goes by that I don't read his blog and think, "Man, I wish he were living here" (and if you are reading, please know that I'm not alone in this thought). Now admittedly it's for selfish reasons that I want him here - I'd prefer grabbing a coffee or a beer with him and discussing theology rather than reading about what he's doing/thinking and occasionally posting - but I still wish he was back down here (how can you be a Flyers fan in New England?).
Location is important - I guess he doesn't realize this yet (actually he does and I'm just bitter).
Friend 3: Location ???
Over the past few weeks, Jen and I have had a friend in from Portland (who probably won't read this anytime soon...but if you are..."Hello, the following is about you"). She has moved around quite a bit since high school (she graduated 10 years ago)...from Oregon to Indiana, from Indiana to Colorado, from Colorado to Indiana, from Indiana to Michigan, from Michigan back to Oregon (I think I got all that right). I don't have a sense that she is committed to a particular location quite yet (and this is fine...it takes some people a while to gain their bearings). She is now living and working back close to where she grew up and close to immediate family and a young niece. However, I get the feeling that this could change given the right circumstances. My secret hope (that's about to be not so secret) is that she'd move here - we love her and our friends do to (that seems like pretty good circumstances to me)! Now perhaps she'll choose to remain in the Pacific Northwest - and this is also fine - I just pray that that she's surrounded by people who love her.
Location is important - I think she is realizing this (and I'm glad for her even if she doesn't move here).
Location, location, location - it really is what it's all about.
What about you? Where do you live and why? What's your view of your location?