Learning to Tabernacle – Reflections on Moving

The Spiveys are moving officially today, but just down the street. The house we are moving into was owned by people who died in 1999. No one has lived in the house since.

Until now.

That’s right. For 12 years the house has been empty. Around March of this year, the children who grew up in the house decided to fix it it up a bit and rent it out. So, here we are. I don’t know why it took them 12 years. Maybe they argued with one another about what to do with the house. Maybe they didn’t want the hassle. Based on circumstances, my theory is they couldn’t bring themselves to rent or sell the house they grew up in. So, they just clutched it–for 12 years.

Place is important. It feels important to some because they like to possess. But, for others, simply having a land one can call their own is a true blessing. We’ve owned homes and rented homes. When we’ve rented (as we are now), it hasn’t really mattered to us that it wasn’t ours. A house is a place to live. A home is made by the family living under the roof. When we’ve owned, we feel a sense of…well…ownership, but the temptation for the house to become ¬†more than it should be in terms of money, focus and attachment is strong.

Moving is a great time for reflection if you can see God through the boxes. Here are some things to consider:

  • How did it feel when you gave away this thing or broke that thing? If it hurt too badly, notice that.
  • If you are downsizing by choice, ask why. If you downsizing of necessity, note what it feels like and what that feeling may tell you about the power of possessions in your life.
  • Before you move, think about what you want the house to be. I’m not talking about drapes or closet space. I’m talking spiritually. Resolve to make it a hospitable place. Resolve to make it a place where kids like to play and your small group and gather. Resolve not let the house keep you from giving, from gathering with God’s people, or take on a life of it’s own.
  • Before you move, think about church. In the old days, people were more likely to check out churches before they moved–or take their current church into account before they moved. Now days, church is often an afterthought of the moving process. “We’ll find somewhere,” we say. While true in many cases, it’s not always true.

Whether renting or owning–tabernacling or templing–it’s important to understand what a house is…and what it isn’t. I would love for New Vintage Church to have a building eventually. But, only when we can handle it–when we can afford it and when we can view it as a place of worship and outpost for mission.

Knowing how to honor God wherever you are…knowing how to tabernacle.

That’s very important.

 

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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