Brian and I will be moving in approximately 90 days. We are packing only what we can fit into our Subaru, shipping the car across the country, and then heading out ourselves with our faithful puppy Peanut and misanthropic feline Anubis.
No, we do not have jobs. No, we do not have a place to live. But we do have a church, a partner, and a plan. We visited Church of the Annunciation in Milwaukie, Oregon when we were visiting Brian's family in April. When I came into the church I felt warm and many of my apprehension about moving to the other side of the country were softened. I knew that this ridiculous plan was a good one.
We, along with our friend Mylo, want to eventually have a farm (or manor as Mylo prefers to describe it) with a house and out buildings made of Cob. We want to live off of the land, and support ourselves by producing things. We want to extricate ourselves from consumer culture. We want to produce most of what we need in life. For those things we can't produce we want to barter first and buy second. We want to fund the buying by producing, not by working for some business. Eventually, we want to produce enough to care for people we encounter who, through infirmity or ignorance, can not care for themselves.
We have always had this sort of idea in the back of our heads. We have always dreamed of a self-sufficient farm. But now we are done with dreaming, we are doing. Sure, we are starting with little steps, but we are acting and we are not allowing ourselves to fall into a complacent lifestyle of "one day" thinking. Our conversion is a big part of this decision.
There is a sense that by leaving Luther's Five Solas behind our lives must change. Just as leaving Sola Scriptura behind means relearning how to study Scripture and Theology; leaving Sola Fide changes how you make life choices. I am not saying that moving to a farm in Oregon and churning goat's milk somehow saves anyone. I am saying that when you understand that the eternal health of your soul is linked in a very real way to what you do on earth you start to think a little harder about the choices you make.
So off we go, to find a temporary house, some temporary jobs, and maybe even get some (permanent) Bachelor's Degrees from one of Oregon's fine, and fairly priced, universities. Oregonian culture does make our agrarian goals a little easier, but the main goal of our move is psychological. We are purging ourselves of all of those things we didn't realize we held. We are rejecting the Puritanical (and ultimately Unitarian) ideals so ingrained in East Coast thinking. We are rejecting the race to see how much can be gotten. We are rejecting the idea that punching a clock and pushing buttons in an effort to help others consume makes you productive. We are rejecting the idea that good and monetarily profitable are the same thing. Instead we are embracing the holistic ideals of the Eastern church and look forward (if that is how to say it) to seeing how much we can manage to live without while working to produce tangible, and good, things.
It may seem silly, but *MY* ultimate goal is to be able to sit in silence for extended periods of time without anxiety. I want to understand what it means to "be still and know that I am God."