Friday, October 3, 2008

The Real Estate of Life

How many bedrooms does it have? You know with the kids and their families in, we need at least three, and then you need an office space, right? And bathrooms, well, we need at least two when company is in. You know when the kids come, they say that the living room feels like we are sitting on top of each other. And with that 9 foot entertainment center, wall space is a must. Lots of kitchen cabinets would help and a dining area to hold the table, chairs and china cabinet. That’s a must! A den, a workshop, storage room and some running room for the grandkids. Oh, yes, hard wood floors are a real selling point. A swimming pool, well, that’s a negotiable point. Oh, the kids would love it, but it’s really a luxury not needed, but it would be nice! And, as I have pointed out to her, “swimming is really the best all around exercise, and we need to keep that up at our age!” Oh, I could be a realtor!

Get the point! This conversation is being repeated over and over again as we scan the internet and, or we step out of the realtor’s car to look at yet another of the firms listings. This last Monday we went through a variety of such listings, eight in all, We were alternatively “oooooing” and “aaaaaahing” but with a few wrinkled brow “oh, my’s!” especially thrown in when we faced a nice neighborhood, but opened the door to reveal a place falling to pieces. I am not kidding. One bedroom had sheetrock on the floor under a torn and sagging ceiling. Another empty house seemed trashed and it was listed in the 90,000+ bracket. Do they really want to sell? We did see some beautifully kept and nice places, but regretfully too small for furniture or our needs. So the beat goes on!

Now on the other side of the coin is our house. Things we have meant to do to enjoy the place during the five years we have lived here, we are now trying to complete in a short time, so that someone else will “ooooh” and “aaaaaaah” a show place they can just see themselves enjoying. A never ending cycle that seems inevitably ours to run around. We are pressed to try to sell in a present market where we’re told it won’t very quickly, and on the other hand, are trying to buy in what is called a “buyer’s market” of low interest and people taking less than they might have at another time. An odd dichotomy of issues, wouldn’t you say? It’s time to buy but not sell, so how do you buy if others don’t sell? That gets my head spinning.

As these activities of approaching retirement continue, I do know this, that somewhere, out there, is a place where we will enjoy the next few years of our ministry together. A place to enjoy the kids and their kids, and others that we will be privileged to call neighbors and friends. It’s not the place, but what you do in it that is the real joy. It’s not owning it but Who really owns it that is the key to the front door and every door in it, and I am not referring to the friendly banker who holds the mortgage. In 1994, as we were engaged in purchasing our first home ever, for we had always pastored and had a parsonage or been missionaries with an equal provision where we were, we had some gracious real estate agents to help us search. And you know what? We ended up buying a home that was for sale by the owner, and it was on the recommendation of the agent who knew the house’s history and urged us to call. I was so impressed with their “unpaid” grace, that the following poem I composed to honor their efforts.


This is Your house, Lord, be the Host,
Of every room, be this my boast,
That You are there with purpose grand,
For its design is Your wise plan.

From morning’s light through night time’s sleep,
In its rooms, Lord, help me seek
To make each one a holy place
Where guests won’t see but holy grace.

Help me begin by early dawn
To find that which I should put on,
As in the closet of my heart
I give You lead, my day to start.

Then guide me in my kitchen life
For daily bread sliced with the knife,
Which is Your Word to fill my need,
That in this room Your will I’d heed.

Another room I pray You’d be,
Is where I work, with those I see.
I pray Your working I would show,
That in the workroom, You, they’d know.

And in my family room today,
Here, too, Lord help me ever stay,
That daily those so close to me
Might find that You are family.

My living room, a place to greet
All other ones You’d have me meet,
To share Your gracious love around,
Please help me here, that love abound.

And may the play room I reserve,
For only joys that Your life serves,
That I would not be entertained,
Unless it glorified Your name.

The laundry and the bathroom, too,
Lord, help me know these are from You,
That I would pray, Lord, here cleanse free,
This sin today that has soiled me.

Then, Lord, the last room of my day,
In my bedroom, Lord, I pray,
That You who called me “come and rest”
Would be at home, and not a guest.

I give to You, Lord, every key,
Please be the Lord of all You see,
And may I always keep this place,
A holy temple by Your grace.

I had a thought. Why not take the place you call home and walking through the rooms, give each one to Him for His very own in being the Lord over all its activity? I’ve heard the age old question stated and answered, “If Jesus came to your house, what would you want to clean before He was invited to come in?” “Well, I’d pick up and straighten up and put some things away, etc.” What we don’t realize is that when the Lord is truly the Lord of our home, He’s the One who does the “picking up” and “straightening!”

I hope I've given you an encouraging word today. Pray for us as we continue to look for the “perfect” place, His!


Jo said...

I want THAT house, from the plan on your blog! It's perfect!
I'll keep y'all in my prayers and will continue looking around for you, as I can.

Mich said...

Thanks for the encouragement Dad, as I "clean house" today!

I'm praying you'll find the house of your dreams and mom will love it too!

Love ya!