We love our house. Well, maybe love is too strong a term, but it certainly fills our needs, is nicer than what 90% of the global population live in, and we’ve lived in it for about 15 years so, perhaps we really like it is a better way to state the case.
We have real estate on the brain however, because we are in the process of putting my 86 year old mother’s home on the market with the intention for her to move in with or closer to us so we can help her manage this segment of her life. Doctors visits, the occasional emergency room trip, groceries, car repair, home repair, general stuff of life that, although she is a very energetic 86, still presents challenges or minor complications. Being the youngest son, and the best looking I might add, it falls to me to stand in the gap for mommasita.
My wife is a lurker. She is Mrs. Cravitz on steroids. If the reference means nothing to you, just research the 70s TV show Bewitched and the busybody neighbor peeping through the blinds and you’ll have my sugerbooger. She’s not malicious or conspiratorial in any manner. She just keeps up with what goes on in the neighborhood…..with everyone…..all the time. Couple this with a husband who could barely care less about the goings on of the neighbors, within reason, and she is often frustrated in her informational efforts to update me.
So it was no surprise that she was watching the Realtor pages for every new addition that hits the market in our area. In our conversations, it come up that there is a house just a couple streets over in another neighborhood, that is larger, has four bedrooms, a mother-in-law area and is selling dirt cheap. Turns out the place is so cheap because it was built in 1970….and hasn’t been updated since. This is 70’s decorating at its height. I’m talking green gold formica, wood paneling, mother-of-pearl in resin counters in the master, deep ocean blue carpet in the formal living area and God save us from robin’s egg blue bath fixtures and the list could go on. Not to worry, I can look past all of that because I’m thinking excellent candidate to gut and renovate this monkey, still keeping a big chunk of equity, earn even more equity, keep a house note at the same level we are now and have a much larger home with the option for mom to hang with us should she decide that is the route she wanted to go.
So let me say it again. We really like our home. Sure we would tweak a little here or there but as Yoda would say, “Satisfied, we are”. We do not HAVE to sell our home. For any reason. It is NOT a gotta do this. This was just one of those moments where I saw what would seem to be a really good deal and a unique opportunity for us to do something better all the way around and still keep the budget sound.
So we go look at the house. With a realtor. Who happens to be from our church. Great guy. Fairly aggressive.
I’m not sure how many times I reiterated that I don’t have to sell my home, am not looking to sell my home, this was just a fact finding mission to see if this might be something we wanted to consider. I quit counting after about 10 times and we were in the car still trying to back out of the driveway.
I wasn’t wasting the man’s time. Had things checked out or confirmed what I thought about the house layout, we would have gotten pretty serious pretty quick. However, this is the danger of thinking out loud. Problem was we couldn’t, or perhaps didn’t feel it appropriate for us to, just walk up to the house and ask the old lady, “Hey, can we nose around your house for a half hour and see if we might want to think about buying it. Asking the realtor was the way to go but we told him up front what we were thinking. Operative word being, thinking. our motives were pure and intentions honorable. We’re just thinking out loud.
Thinking is not action. Action is action. Movement is action. Thinking simply infers intention which can change as easily as the wind direction. Now I have this really sweet real estate guy following me around like a puppy asking what am I looking for, where would I like to be, what is my price range and on and on and on. Plus a weekly encounter at church where we’ll be asked persistently about our plans. Remember, I don’t have to nor necessarily want to sell my home. It was just one of those lightning flashes that caught our eye and we thought, what if.
That’s what I get for “thinking” well intentioned thoughts.
A young man once said, “The pathway to hell is paved with good intentions”. I see this daily. Not only in the lives of those I interact with but in my own walk as well. Sadly, what most Christians are called to these days is not so much an abiding faith in a Savior who can change our lives in amazing ways, but to think these thoughts and do these things and ask what’s in it for me. Good intentions, but falling just short of what I believe God is asking us to commit to.
I believe, and the scripture will back me up here, we, I am, being called to be a disciple first. A person who seeks to know God and His Son more deeply today than yesterday. Not just a doer. Note I didn’t say doer of the word. I see folks being brought into the church all the time and told, so glad you are here, can you teach, can you serve here, can you do this or that? Many are able and are truly disciples of Christ, but sadly, many more are still getting their feet under them in a sense to know who and what Christ is in their life. So they serve, or teach, or do and ultimately they are lead to believe that “doing something” is what the Christianity thing is all about and the person behind it all, the purpose behind it all is unknown or not fully understood. So when temptation comes, they are not strong enough. When they get burned or burned out, faith let them down. It wasn’t what it was cracked up to be.
A person who knows the discipleship of Christ in their life will serve, will teach, will meet the needs of the broken and hurting around them. It won’t be on a punch list. It will be done because their hearts compel them to do it. Because their hearts are so full of what God is doing in them that it is overflowing and drowning them. Because Jesus loved them so much and did the same for them that they can’t think of any other thing to do but love other people. They will see an opportunity for something and they will go to it. They won’t have to change where they are or what they are doing perhaps. They just want to be a part of that thing for the glory of God. To show His greatness because He was great to them in so many ways. In the greatest way.
So here’s to living out loud. To knowing who we are in Christ first, and keeping open to what He places in our path so we can love others at least a fraction of the massive measure He gives to us. To seeing the opportunity to love another the way Christ loves us and taking a flyer. Doing is great and honorable and worthy and needed. Doing from a heart that is generating an overflow because of the influence of Christ is the key.
It’s just a shame I have to let the realtor in on the idea.