Carrying our baggage with us

By Dave Henning / August 11, 2022

“There are times when a move is necessary. . . .  And, in fact, there are times when movement only exacerbates the problem.  Instead of doing the hard work that is required, the hard work that could lead to personal growth, we bounce, carrying our baggage with us.”- Daniel Grothe

“Whoever you may be, always have God before your eyes; whatever you do, do it according to the testimony of the holy Scriptures; in whatever place you live, do not easily leave it.”- St. Anthony the Great

In Chapter 1 (“wanderlust: Why We Feel the Pull to Leave”) of The Power of Place: Choosing Stability in a Rootless Age, Daniel Grothe begins with the email out of nowhere.  A search firm representing one of the largest churches in America reached out to Pastor Grothe – unexpectedly.

As a result, a whirlwind of events took place over the next six months.  Those events included a criminal background check, psychiatric exam, and an orthodoxy interview with a board of theologians.  In addition, the megachurch flew Pastor Grothe to their site three times.  Finally, their church elders flew to Colorado Springs to see Pastor Grothe on his home turf.  Before the elders left, they told Daniel they’d likely send a letter of intent shortly.

However, a week later an elder called Pastor Grothe to tell him the church decided to move on – to restart their search.  But, more than grieving the loss of a new position, Pastor Grothe and his family grieved the disruption of soul.  And what felt like an unnecessary loosening of their roots.

Consequently, the family learned two important lessons, that God doesn’t:

  1. judge the effectiveness of your life using the metrics of the market economy
  2. assess the fruitfulness of your life based on the quantity of the people you’re around, but on the quality of your service to the people around you

In conclusion, Pastor Grothe exhorts:

“Sometimes the most significant thing you can do is stay in one place — stay for the long haul — stay and give your life away for the good of these people in this place.”

Today’s question: What Scriptures ease the load of carrying our baggage with us?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Necessary and voluntary limits”

About the author

Dave Henning

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