Monday, April 13, 2015

Change of Address

When I was a boy my parents and I lived at 317 Memorial Drive in Barnesville. Then we lived at 228 Memorial Drive in Barnesville—and we didn’t move. For reasons I don’t recall—although it may have been related to a stretch of Memorial Drive being renamed Redbud Drive—all of the house numbers on our street changed. So one day we lived at 317 Memorial Drive and the next day we lived in the same house only now it was (and still is) 228 Memorial Drive.

My Good Wife and I have had several addresses during the almost thirty-seven years of our marriage and we’ve had to move to get them all. We have lived at 1548 Johnson Ave. Apt. 2 in Macon, Georgia, at U-7 Seminary Village in Louisville, Kentucky, at 251 Saunders Avenue in Louisville, at 300 Bear Creek Road in Adel, Georgia, at 5023 Marchant Drive in Nashville, Tennessee, at 2906 Sussex Road in Augusta, Georgia, and at our present address of 126 Meadowlark Lane in Fitzgerald, Georgia.

Soon we will move to 6893 Yatesville Highway in Yatesville, Georgia, an address that didn’t exist until we decided to build our new house there (before that it was known as “on Highway 74 about a mile east of Yatesville beyond but on the other side of the road from the RV park and just before the big white house on the left—if you cross from Upson into Monroe County you’ve gone too far”). We plan and hope that this will be our last address until we move on to the only real permanent address that any of us will ever have.

I have throughout my adult life had a recurring dream that comes in various versions but that always involves a reorganization of the facts of my life. So, for example, I might dream that we are living in our Adel house but it’s on our Nashville lot and I’m a seminary student in Louisville. Or I might dream that we are living in our Fitzgerald house on our Louisville lot but I’m teaching in Nashville. A professional analyst might come up with a different interpretation, but I think that those dreams reflect my subconscious effort to fit the various pieces of my life into a coherent whole. I think that my mind is trying to make sense of my life.

Maybe it will all come together for me at 6893 Yatesville Highway. Or maybe it will all come together only when I reach my final destination.

Even if I find myself experiencing increased wholeness on Yatesville Highway, though, I won’t be surprised if I keep having that dream. After all, we bring our past along with us into our present situation and we bring our experiences with us into our current reality. Events, crises, choices, decisions, providence, accident, victories, defeats, joy, sorrow, places, people, reactions, responses, and more all work together to form a life and to bring us to the point in life at which we find ourselves.

I guess the truth is that even though we lock up our former residences when we leave them, we never completely close the doors on the life we lived in them. So the memories, the lessons, and the relationships of those places can and do still come through.

By the grace of God we have been where we have been. By the grace of God we will go where we will go. By the grace of God we have been who we have been. By the grace of God we will be who we will be.

Things change. Things remain.

Addresses change—but thank God we can remember our old ones even while we live fully at our new ones …

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