I have moved around often in my fifty years of life. From the time I went to kindergarten until I was finished with high school, my family moved eleven times. I never spent longer than two years in one school. There were some disadvantages to this way of life to be sure. I always had to leave places I had gotten somewhat used to and adjust to new surroundings. I also never had any time growing up to develop any close friendships because it seemed as soon as I would make friends I would leave them. I had no one I considered a close friend until my college years.
There were, however, advantages. I learned early on in my young life to adjust to new things. Since so many things in my life were new, I never had an opportunity to become familiar with the old. I have discovered in my adult life that I am very adaptable to the new and the different. I am sure my childhood wanderings had much to do with that. Little did I know, as I was always moving from one town to the next, that I would become an itinerant preacher. If I had wished to settle down in one place as an adult it was not to be. Following the orders of my bishop I have traveled from one town to the next making new friends and then leaving them as old friends and off again to make new ones. In one respect this has been difficult to be sure. It can be hard to leave people you have come to love. But in another way it has become a real blessing; for we have gotten to know so many more people than we ever would have in one place. We have friends in many different places who represent a wonderful diverse cross-section of humanity. And while distance doesn't allow us to see them regularly, we do maintain communication with more than a few of them.
This past weekend Carol and I had the opportunity to be part of two different events where we saw some old friends and other individuals we haven't seen in years. We had such a wonderful time renewing acquaintances and catching up on the news that we were saddened when the time was over. But that time reminded us of how blessed we are to have known and still know so many wonderful people who have made our journey in life the blessing that it is. We cannot imagine what our lives would have been or would be now without their presence throughout the years.
In one sense I guess it could be said that I have no place to call home. In another sense I have many homes. And every time we return to one of those "homes" it truly does feel like home to us. I am not fond of sappy cliches, but if it is true that home is where your heart is, my heart is in many places. And that has made my life rich indeed.
There is something to be said for not staying put.