So it happened. Someone is living the dream I want to live, and now I am jealous. I overheard a conversation the other day where someone said their daughter and son-in-law is buying a 5th wheel trailer and hitting the open road; living, working, schooling, playing, parenting, and exploring life without the constraints that typical young families are bound by, all in a 5th wheel trailer on the open road. Mmm hmm, that sounds like the life for me...
Picture this: A young couple and their little niños exploring national parks, seeing new cities, discovering open country, being able to visit family and friends when they want to or NOT want to, and living in different spots throughout the United States... I don't know the reason why this family is doing this, but I know why I want to do it.
The thought of not being shackled by what is deemed the American dream seems so freeing to me... No, it seems so simplistic and minimalist, and so refreshing in every way imaginable.
I guess a lot of us deep down would desire to live like this wouldn't we... I mean I get overwhelmed sometimes with stuff, task lists, bills, appointments, work, attitudes, and PEOPLE... For me I sometimes feel so overly connected to everything and by everything, that I just want to disconnect from it all. I want to hit the open road and explore, be free...
The reason that so many of us want to be disconnected is not that we are overly connected, but it's because we are connecting in community in the wrong way... For many of us we seek to find our identity in the people we hangout with, in the work that we do, and in the stuff that we have. Many of us bring to the table what I like to call U.L.'s (Unidentified Life). An unidentified life is someone who doesn't know who they are, they don't know where they are going, they don't know their purpose and value, and they don't know who they belong to.
- I suppose for a lot of us, we don't know who we are. We don't understand that we are a unique creation. An intimately involved God formed us and breathed life into us. When the Creator, after speaking into existence this place called planet earth and everything in it and formed the first first humans; He saw all that He had made and deemed everything "very good" (Genesis 1:31). We are loved by a creator, who was willing to give everything up so that we can be in a relationship with Him. Galatians 4:5-7, says that we can be adopted sons and daughters, and heirs of God the Father through the redemption that comes through Jesus. We are his best of creation and his children.
- Many of us don't know where we are going. We don't know that the places we travel to and experience now, the jobs we have, the playing that we do, the people we meet, and the families we create all along the way are only little pit-stops to our final and eternal destination. Many times our vision for where we are heading is very short-sight. It's kinda like driving through the Tule fog in Central California. There are times when you can't see your hand if you were to put it in front of the windshield glass. Also, visibility can vary rapidly from place to place. Very quickly; visibility in only a few feet, can change from 10 feet to near zero visibility. It's easy to get lost or worse get into an accident. Life can be like that; during times of unclarity and uncertainty we need to be continuously and carefully aware of our immediate surroundings, and be reminded of where our ultimate destination is going to be (Philippians 3:20-21; Ephesians 5:15-16; Hebrews 11:1-40 & Revelation 21:1-7). This earthly place is not our home, we are travelers on an open road heading to a better place.
- For about half my life I lived with little to no purpose. I couldn't see how I might fit into the world or what it was I brought to the table. This is true for a lot of us I suppose. For many of us we can't see our unique value and worth. No one else can contribute to the aspects of life what we uniquely can as an individual to the collective whole or the community of people we belong to. You are unique! The Creator has gifted each of us with uniqueness to add value to the whole community of people in which we belong too. "We are His workmanship create in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." - (Ephesians 2:8-10). No one can do what only you can do. You are necessary and needed by the people in your community.
- For many of us we don't know who we belong too. This one is a toughie in this country at least. We're Americans (insert #Merica), and we don't belong to no one. We are free, we are our own people, we are independent, we have no king... I totally get this mindset, but if we would only look at it from a different way. Instead, look at it from this point of view: God has brought us back from the dead. We are no longer identified by the things that we are not or by the things that we do, but we are identified by being made fully alive in Jesus. We have been filled in Him in which the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily. Jesus is before all things and in him all things hold together. Jesus is the image of the invisible God and by him all things we created - all things were created by him and for him (Colossians 2:9-10 & 1:15-20). We are no longer our own, but we have been bought with a price, because of this we are no longer dead, we have been raised with Jesus and now our lives are hidden with Christ in God. We are not slaves, but to be God's chosen ones, holy and beloved (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 & Colossians 3:1-3; 3:12).
I like how Colossians 1:13 reads,
"He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son."
We have been transferred from darkness to a beloved Son's kingdom, in which we too are also beloved
When we begin to learn and embrace these four realities about identity, then will seek to be connected not disconnected. Living an unidentified life is exhausting and can burnout a person, but living a life that has correctly found it's identity is invigorating and long-lasting. We are called to live in community and that community can take many shapes and forms; it can be on the open road in a 5th wheel trailer or it can be in an apartment building. It's not where you live, but how you live and who you live it for.