Floridians get cold.
When it’s warm.
It’s why Florida stores sell gloves and hats in October when the average temp is 75 degrees. It’s why wool sweaters line shelves, aligning supply and demand. It’s why Floridians use the word winter as if they know what it is.
They truly think they are cold.
I’ve lived the majority of my life with a true winter, actual snow, and a routine of rotating seasonal clothes – including something called ‘outerwear’ – through the closets. That’s life in the North.
Slightly different than a few nights where the temps dip below 40 degrees. Cities that “snow” at 8:00 each night, where “snow” equals massive blocks of ice run through an ice chipper. And the only seasonal clothes to rotate are the July swimsuits and the January swimsuits. That’s life in the South.
This year, I’ve found myself playing the part. Living as they do. Chilled in the 60s. Teeth chattering in the 50s. Hibernating in the 40s.
This does not bode well for my impending return to winter. In Michigan, 40s beg for grilling-out. 50s mean short-sleeves. 60s call for flip-flops and sprinkler-runs. In a matter of months, my blood has thinned and my resilience has waned. I’m not as hearty as I thought. I may not survive.
This Florida life I’m living is not my forever. It’s my now. It’s my temporary home.
My life on earth is not my forever. It’s my now. It’s my temporary home.
For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were.
Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding.
1 Chronicles 29:15
I am but a sojourner. Living temporarily.
If I leave my foreigner card at the door and embrace the “local” way of living, it doesn’t prepare me for my home yet to come. It distracts from my eternal reality.
The world’s priorities, perspectives and purposes at times appear to mesh with God’s. But often, they stand in direct opposition.
It’s not my job to make the locals look like foreigners (unless they are wanting to become foreigners). But, I need to live consistent with my reality. In this world, I am just a sojourner. If I don’t look like a sojourner, then I just might be getting adapting to temporary life a bit too much.
This one is hard for me. It’s hard for me to look differently, sound differently, live differently. I don’t want to be discredited, misunderstood, judged, dismissed or rejected. My strategies are often to blend, to match, to be twinsies with the locals.
But, I’m not a local. I’m a sojourner.
Do I have to diametrically oppose the locals? Do I need to remind them I’m not one every chance I get?
There are times to relate our commonalities.
There are times to reflect my citizenship.
There are times to resist conformity.
There are times to respect our contentions.
There are times to rest in our current togetherness.
There are times to react compassionately.
If in doing so, I stop living consistent with my identity in God, then I’ve forgotten I’m but a sojourner.
It’s fun to sojourn. It’s enlightening to sojourn. It’s transformational to sojourn. But if I establish, root and take up residence, I end up a nomad, wandering between the local enticements and a forever bounty.
It’s important to review my travel documents and recognize my sojourner role.
Thin blood does me no good in the frigid North.
Part 1: Passing Through
Part 2: Homesicking
Part 3: Purposing
Part 4: Familiaring
Part 5: Identifying
Part 6: Hoarding
Part 7: Simplifying
Part 8: Investing
[This post is #9 in the #notmyhome series]
Part 10: Borrowing
Part 11: Departing
Part 12: Reflecting