pack it up

Abraham (of Old Testament fame) has been hailed the father of faith because of his sheer obedience to God on countless occasions. One of my favorite examples is when God tells him to "Leave your country, your people, and your father's household, and go to the land I will show you." Abraham responded with eyes of faith and feet of obedience: He "left, as the Lord had told him." Without even knowing where God was sending him, he packed up all his belongings and convinced his wife that they were moving out. (Imagine that conversation?!)

At some point in the journey, God's directions got a little clearer. (Forward motion brings clarity of vision.) "They set out for the land of Canaan." As he followed faithfully, Abraham got more details on where he was headed.

Let's back up a little bit. Just before this story unfolds, another story wraps up. Abraham's dad, Terah, embarked on a similar journey years before. "Terah took his son... his grandson...and his daughter-in-law, and together they set out... to go to Canaan."

God sent Terah to Canaan; Terah heard and obeyed. At least initially. He set out to go to Canaan, but he never made it. "When they came to Haran, they settled there." Terah gave up too soon. I'm sure the road was long and hard, the desert sun scorching hot, and the distance just too great. So he opted to settle in Haran instead of pushing on. Maybe Terah planned to just rest for a while. I can almost hear him: "Let's regroup, gather some new supplies, and then we'll head back out." But life in Haran was comfortable; it was too hard to leave. "Terah...died in Haran."

When we settle, we stagnate.

Knowing all this, I read God's command to Abraham a little differently. "Leave your... father's household, and go to the land I will show you." God was asking him---challenging him---to leave behind his father's way of thinking. To intentionally leave his comfortable place of "settlement" and walk through the difficult desert. Abraham left behind more than his country and his father's household; he left behind his settlement mentality.

"Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. He took his wife... his nephew... all the possessions they had accumulated... and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there."

He set out for Canaan. And he arrived there.

I'm looking in my heart to find all the places I've set up camp. I need to shake the dust off my feet and keep moving forward, away from the places I know I've settled for less than what God has called me to.

It's moving day.