We have moved and are settled in a new apartment. It is very nice. During our lives, we move in and move out many times. We keep hoping each move will make us happier, change our perspective, give us a different view of the world, and alter our very personalities. Moving to a new place is exciting and stress producing. But we keep on looking for that place, that promised land, where we will feel safe and at home. Some of us find it easier than others. But the quest goes on and on. We never do arrive.
This is a constant theme in the Bible as well. Having been promised a land, the Jewish people spend most of their time getting to the land, losing the land and trying to regain it. Eventually they are kicked out of the land completely, go into a long wandering persecuted diaspora, and finally return to the promised land. And today, in the place that was supposed to be safe and home, they find themselves surrounded by angry people who would prefer they not be there. So it goes and goes and goes.
There is a truth to be had in all that Jewish wandering. You will quest for the ideal cave to keep you safe and warm. This is what we do. We search for the perfect place, the perfect spouse, the perfect job and the perfect friends.
But, wherever you live, life, with all its imperfections, keeps on happening. And there are always things about which to complain. The morning paper was not delivered today. There is no toilet paper holder. The towel in the second bathroom is awkwardly hung. The neighbors seem nosy. One faucet is not working well.
Life is a messy business with precious little perfection. As our culture becomes efficient at fixing things, we expect everything to be easily and quickly fixed. We expect doctors to fix all our ailments only to be disappointed to discover they too are imperfect. More and more we expect more and more and are easily disappointed and discontented. We live in the richest country in the world and it seems we are constantly complaining. Our president promises to make us great again, richer, more prosperous, give us cheaper material things, and the list goes on and on.
So, what’s the deal? Geography does matter. Keep wandering and searching for that place. But the deal is that life is and has always been ambiguous and imperfect. If, wherever you live right now, you are happy fifty percent of the time. That’s pretty good. Have a nice day and enjoy the moment.
P.S. The Blog is on break until September. Stay sane out there.