Putting Down Roots
To be everywhere is to be nowhere. People who spend their whole life travelling abroad end up having plenty of places where they can find hospitality but no real friendships.
~Letters from a Stoic, Seneca
As a United Methodist pastor, there has been one constant in my adult life. I could get a phone call at any point letting me know that I was going to get moved to a new church.
Since my wife and I got married prior to my final year of college, we have had 8 different addresses to call home (granted, one of those was only for a month between seminary and my first appointment, but, still, it was home for a time).
I feel like we have a lot of friends in many different places, but I, in particular, struggle to cultivate deep friendships. I never had a big circle of friends to begin with. Even going back to middle school and high school, I only had a few people that I really spent time with.
I’ve lost touch with some — the pandemic has made it hard to stay in touch with people when I despise talking on the phone. I’ve lost others altogether — my closest friend passed away unexpectedly almost five years ago now.
I saw somebody on social media say once that the real miracle of the story of Jesus is that he had twelve close friends in his thirties. I get it. It’s hard to make new friends when you constantly move, when you’re seen as the pastor, when you have young kids that (rightfully) demand a lot of attention.
We do have a few people in our current location that we spend some time with socially. We are working on those roots. But we’ve almost lived here longer than any other place in our married life. In fact, if we’re still in this house by the end of June, it will be our longest tenure at any location since high school graduation.
It’s hard to put down those roots when you keep getting repotted. It’s difficult, but not impossible. We know that one day, we’ll have to move again. We just don’t want it to be any time soon. In the meantime, we’ll keep working on those roots.