Even if you're only going to be a nurse in that hospital for two years before your next assignment. Even if you're only going to be in graduate school for one year. Even if you're only going to be at that military installation until...well, until you get orders to go somewhere else.
Regardless of how long you'll be around, plant yourself.
Ok. You may not want to sink your roots too deep. I get that. Deep roots just create harder goodbyes. I understand. But may I at least suggest that you gradually, oh, so gradually, plant yourself as deeply as you can in your new environment?
This is life. This is it. You don't want to wait to start living until after you finally find your final destination. For one thing, you don't know where that final destination may be. So while you're testing out the waters and trying to figure out where life will take you next, you could waste precious life moments if you don't intentionally plant yourself in the soil of your current surroundings.
James wrote to the church in his epistle:
- Join a church. Hunt around. Pray about it. Find a church that preaches the true gospel and tries to love on people. And join that church. Commit to support it financially, prayerfully and with your attendance. And you take on the task of helping to protect the unity of that fellowship.
- Join a ministry in that church. Become a greeter, volunteer in the nursery, sing in a praise team or choir, help with vacation Bible school, or work with the youth. Visit with the pastor or a staff member and tell them about yourself, your gifts and talents and experiences. Ask them to help you find a place of service. They will slap themselves silly and grin real big and say, "Thank you!"
- Meet your neighbors. I know that's not normal these days. We tend to drive into our garages and lower the door and never peek outside. Resist the urge to follow the crowd! Go door to door and meet your neighbors.
- Have those neighbors over for...something. Barbecue, picnic, s'more roasting or dessert party. Engage with your neighbors...even if they all look at each other like aliens from different mother ships! You make the effort.
- Join a club or group. The choices are endless and you can find information about all kinds in the newspaper, local Internet posting groups and Facebook.
- Make some friends. I mention that because the temptation is to make some acquaintances. Know what I mean? Sure, make some of those, too. But put in the work and be a friend to someone so you can make a friend. We're talking effort here, people. Planting yourself, whether it's in the church, the community or someone's heart, takes work and intentionality. And it's worth it.
Each spring my husband and I buy little plastic sleeves of flowering plants and herbs to plant in the clay pots in our backyard. Now at the end of summer they just die. They're not in those pots for long.
But we enjoy the months that those beautiful flowers spill over the sides of the big clay pots. It's worth the effort.
However, every year we buy too many plants. And my husband usually leaves a few in the little plastic sleeves. Meanwhile, I keep watering them so that when he does get around to planting them they'll be ready to take root. He intends to plant them, I think. But he never gets around to it.
Those flowers that don't get planted in the pots so they can put their roots down in the soil eventually die. But the flowers that take root in the large clay pots thrive all summer. It's just a season. But for that season...in that place...they bloom.
Bloom. First, you'll need to plant yourself.