I’m leaving! I hear this from people more often than not. People don’t like it, so they leave. That’s part of the American dream, right? We have lots and lots of choices so, really we can leave whenever we feel like.
I am hearing from parents at the highschool that they child is not getting the right “highschool experience” so next year, they are leaving.
I hear from people in houses and apartments that don’t meet their needs, “as soon as my lease is up, I’m leaving.”
A coach I know is faced with the decision of whether or not to return to his coaching position. He doesn’t necessarily agree with the head coaches teaching philosophy. He’s pretty sure he’s leaving.
We don’t like our church…we don’t like our grocery store…we don’t like a Bible Study group…we don’t like a mall…a nail salon…a daycare….a particular denomination or faith…a marriage. So we leave.
Leaving may seem easy, but it isn’t always the right thing to do. I have considered pulling my youngest out of his elementary school for three years. I have attempted to volunteer, I have kindly spoken with the principal and vice principal. I have tried to influence and as cliche as it sounds, I’ve tried to be the change I wish to see. All my efforts and relationship building has seemed futile, so I have decided that next year–new public school.(Christian school and homeschool don’t align with our values as a family) There are those situaions where for safety and healthy boundaries we must leave, but in most cases we leave just because we aren’t happy.
Particularly as Christ-followers we have to take into consideration the example we are setting, the potential of relationships and is that what Jesus would do. I’ve done some pretty horrible stuff…really I have…and thankfully Jesus never ever said the words to me, “I’m leaving!”
Contrary to worldly beliefs, not everything you do should be best for you. I know that’s a hard one to swallow, but it’s true. Everything you do should be best for the Kingdom of God. That might mean staying with the same nail tech so you can build a relationship with her and introduce her to Jesus. That might mean staying at that teaching job one more year because you are the only known Christian teacher on staff. That might mean you stay in your neighborhood and commit to praying for your neighbors and loving them by serving them. That might mean leaving your kids in public school so they can be the light in the darkness.
When we choose to leave not only are we potentially missing out on an opportunity for God to use us, but we are setting a horrible example for our kids. This is one of the reasons we have allowed our kids to stay in their current schools. We didn’t want to teach them to just leave anytime something is hard or uncomfortable. I believe with my entire heart that God provided this home for us in this neighborhood, I couldn’t believe that and consider that God didn’t think through which schools my kids would attend. He knew what he was doing in all of it, not just part of it. And He knows what He’s doing in all of your life, not just part of your life.
Life is not about getting the best for your dollar or finding the perfect person you can be romantically in love with forever and ever (because the romance does fade, and there is no such thing as perfect). Life is not about being entertained while we are at church nor is it about getting the best cup of coffee (If you donated your monthly starbucks budget, you could probably feed a homeless family instead).
Life is not about leaving whatever you don’t like behind so you can move on to the next thing.
Life is not about you.
It’s about Jesus.