What if…

Have you noticed that normally when we start thinking of “What if’s?” we generally imagine the worst? Around the start of this year, we began nailing down the dates for our upcoming trip to the States. We still had some uncertainty because one of our kids is taking the Leaving Cert this month. But as […]

by bob

Jun 7, 2018

Have you noticed that normally when we start thinking of “What if’s?” we generally imagine the worst?

Around the start of this year, we began nailing down the dates for our upcoming trip to the States. We still had some uncertainty because one of our kids is taking the Leaving Cert this month. But as April rolled around, we knew we needed to grab our tickets soon.

That is when the craziness began.

This new craziness involved our landlord leaving a voicemail at 10:30 pm asking us to call him first thing the next day.

Which is weird.

What is even weirder is that in the nearly 3 years we lived in that house we had never met or spoken to our landlord. We dealt with an agent for signing the lease, but once we moved in, they fired her. All future communications were via email. 

Until that night. 

When Liz spoke to him the next day he told us an appraiser was coming from the bank. That visit came and went. And we heard nothing.

Since we’ll be in the States for a while, we didn’t want to discover that we would need to find a new place and then move as soon as we got back to Dublin. (You may have heard, finding a place to live in Dublin can be a bit of a challenge.) 

So Liz called the landlord back on a Saturday (now that we finally had his phone number), and he assured her he was not selling. “Buy your tickets, and don’t worry about it,” were his words.

We bought the tickets.

On Monday, our landlord’s new agent calls us to say the house is being sold, and we would have to move out right in the middle of our trip to the States.

Now, I like being dropped into the middle of some chaotic situation where I have to figure out how to get things working. My wife is actually pretty good at it too, but it does stress her out.

Our first response to this latest issue was to go into crisis mode. But, I had a sense that we should treat this as a good thing…at least until evidence to the contrary arose. So I talked to Liz about it, and we decided not to stress about it. We were going to act like this whole situation was a gift we were receiving from God.

The next day, we looked on Daft.ie, contacted the 4 places in our area that were for rent and visited 3 of them. Two of the places gave us the first option, and we ended up taking one the house in Marino.

Now, I am not going to say that the move was not exhausting, and a bit stressful. 

But…

  • We found a place to live, in Dublin, in less than 48 hours. Only people who live here understand what a miracle that is.
  • We had a bunch of friends help us move,
  • We found a house that we are all enjoying living in,
  • We are all enjoying living in Marino. While the people in our neighbourhood in Clontarf were very kind, the people here have been going out of their way to be friendly and talk to us…it has been one of the best experiences we’ve had since moving here.

We so often respond to unexpected change as if it is a negative. “That isn’t what I was planning.” And our interactions get filtered through that. 

But, what if it is a good thing? What if it is a present, not a penalty? Would that impact how we receive it? 

Something I’ve been thinking about lately.

What about…

I grew up in Western New York and have started and led missional church planting efforts for a little over 30 years. As you might gather, I have opinions about the church, and I share some of them here.

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