Friday, November 18, 2011

Why This?

Why independent living? What is the significance? Where is the importance? Why do we need it NOW?

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These are some of the same questions that I asked myself when my family first brought this up about a year ago. I was okay with the general concept of moving; but not with the idea of moving to some faraway place, with no people, and definitely no people that I knew. I will be honest: I was resentful. It was not "country living" that had me agitated -- it was "sudden change". While I generally tend to adapt to my environment, I do still hate sudden changes of plan. It was not in my plan to live so far away that I could not see my friends. It was not my plan to give up college options because they were too urbanized. This "out of the cities" business was most definitely ruining my plans!

Yet, eventually, step by step, I accepted it. At first, it was with reluctance. After a while, though, I saw it as a good idea. And I continue to think that.

Let us consider a few major events, namely the following:
  • Earthquake and Flooding in Japan
  • The dying international economy
  • Famine in Somalia
  • International civil unrest
  • Earthquake in Turkey
  • Northeast USA: earthquake and hurricane in the same week, followed two months late by an autumn snowstorm that had people without power for even two weeks.
All of these, including a reevaluation of myself and my connection with God allowed me to see how important this really is. It is not a fanatic movement; it is not fear; it is barely preparation; it is GOD.

In fact, that is the number one reason why I am okay with this. I would still be resentful if it were not for God.

But let us go into some other reasons for an independent lifestyle...

Reason #2 -- Freedom.
For those of us in the United States, we tend to hear that we are in "the land of the free". Let us reevaluate that, shall we? We depend on others for food; for water; for clothes; for housing; for heat; for occupation; for education. In essence, we are giving away our liberty -- the same liberty Christ bought for us (Galatians 5:1). I was on BibleGateway, and I read an interesting verse in Psalms (119:45). I enjoy using virtual Bibles because I can look at the same passage in multiple translations. Compare and contrast:
  • King James: "And I will walk at liberty: for I seek Thy precepts."
  • Contemporary English: "I have gained perfect freedom by following Your teaching."
  • English Standard: "And I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought Your precepts."
  • Common English Bible: "I will walk around in wide-open spaces, because I have pursued Your precepts."
I found the last one striking because I have never heard freedom described in that manner. Open spaces are a relief after being cooped up for some time. That is why caged birds take off the moment they get the opportunity. I find that little by little, we are losing our independence in itty-bitty things. America is great; don't get me wrong. Right now though, it does not afford me the type of freedom that the Psalmist speaks about. To the mountains I go...


Reason #3 -- Privacy
Who likes having people all up in their business? I surely do not! And I would argue that it is the same for most people. We like to have some sense of individuality and belonging: it is nice to know that something is truly and solely our own. It is frustrating to have something that is not all yours (have you ever wondered why children do not like to share?). I was listening to a seminar on independent living, and the speaker made reference to the following text:
"Teach me Thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies" (Psalm 27:11).
Okay, no big deal. King David said things like that all of the time. But the presenter explained that the word "enemies" more literally means "those who watch me". And, I found two translations that support that!
"Teach me Your way, O Lord. Lead me on a level path because I have enemies who spy on me" (God's Word Translation).
"Shew me, O Jehovah, Thy way, and lead me in a path of uprightness, for the sake of my beholders" (Young's Literal Translation).
So, we can conclude (at least for this particular text) that our enemies are anyone who can be in our business and watch our goings out and our comings in. Not cool. Personally, I would like to make sure that I have less "enemies".

Reason #4 -- Peace
After all of the hustle and bustle of a day at work or school, our bodies need to RELAX. How can we hear God's voice if our ears are ringing and our minds are buzzing?
"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7).
Need I say more?

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