You don’t miss your water till the well runs dry right? Or you walk away from it. Although to be honest it’s not always the way it left you that’s the problem. Sometimes it’s just the fact that it’s gone. Either way you miss the very thing that gave you life. Either way the gift of hindsight smacks you in the face with a muddy rugby ball and demands to know why you let it happen.
I’ve recently been exiled from what I’ve discovered is my beloved east London, to my home town, south of the Thames. I’d lived in east London for almost two years. I got used to the noise, the people, my church and the general convenience of Zone 1 life. I got used to it and I took it for granted.
But now I live in the ‘burbs – it’s quiet, the people are different, my church is an hour’s train journey and I’m in Zone 6 (also known as The Country). So now I’m wondering how to appreciate this place, how to love this ground. Ever found yourself wondering how to love the place you’re in, whether that’s geographically, relationally, career-wise, when you’re not even sure it’s where you want to be?
Here’s what I’m learning about appreciating what I have now:
1. Thankfulness. Write a list of things you’re thankful for, stick it to the fridge/stick it to the mirror/make it your smart phone background/write them on post-it notes and re-decorate your room with them if need be. Thankfulness reminds us of the good things we have while we live in anticipation of what is yet to come. There are things to learn wherever we are.
2. Get to know some people who are with you. Get to know your neighbours, spend time with colleagues you think you have nothing in common with. If you know some people where you’re at then wherever you are holds more meaning.
3. Find out what’s happening under the surface – don’t be a tourist. Talk to someone who knows something about the area. And spend time/money/energy helping to fix the broken parts – you tend to care more about the things you invest in,
4. Get lost on purpose – the best way to discover the secrets.