“Everything is easier on the road.”

Last Sunday morning, while we were lying in bed (which you can see in the photo above), Chris and I were faced with trying another new church. We have been visiting different churches in the area for the past few months. Since our home is in the country, we are finding this process to be more involved. Add to complications the fact that the denomination that we belonged to before RVing does not exist here. We find ourselves being tossed on the waves of indecision; visiting large and small churches, local and distant churches, and churches of varied denominations. Our irresolution sparked an interesting conversation last Sunday that brought us to some key understandings of the freedom of RVing…

Me: “I don’t feel like trying another church today. There is something holding me back.”

Chris: “It’s not that big a deal. We need to go, so that at the very least, we can rule this one out.”

Me: “I don’t know why it is bothering me so much. It never bothered me while we were travelling. We hit new churches every week and I didn’t think twice about it. Why did it feel so much easier on the road?”

Chris: “Everything is easier on the road.”

And there you have it. One of the key perspectives that fulltime RVing brings: Everything is easier on the road.

I am calling it a perspective, or understanding, because I am not sure that it is a truth.

Sure, there are a lot of things that are much easier on the road. Paying as you go, with all utilities included in the campground fee. Simple living without a lot of stuff to clog your day. An almost surreal, permanent mental state of vacation. The knowledge that if things aren’t working out where you are, you can move until you find a place that suits you. And there is certainly no contest when comparing the ease of cleaning an RV like Aunt Glady to the lengthy process of cleaning a house.

But there are plenty of things that are more difficult on the road. Being close with family and friends. Being a part of a community and self-sacrificing for others. Grocery shopping in a new store every week, with no idea what you will find.

So, there are different sides to the story, but generally, RVing is simpler, and therefore easier most of the time.

But we have only discussed basic daily living. There are some bigger picture items to consider too. Why is it easier to be “new”, and visit places on the road? Why am I comfortable popping in to a new church each week while RVing, but it is much more difficult when finding a home church?

And let’s be honest…why is it easier to interact with others when I know I may never see them again? And when they have no prior knowledge of who I am? Am I becoming shallow?

And let’s dig deeper…is RVing an easy excuse to not be committed to anything? Or anyone? Let’s hope not, but it is something to consider and to make sure we avoid.

There is a difference in being “new” on the road, and “new” but settling in a home area.

I suspect some of my problem last Sunday has to do with the self-induced pressure. We want everything to be perfect for us. We are going to be committing to this church, and we self-centeredly want it our way. It will be a more long-term decision that we want to get right. We have our expectations of what we want the service to be like, how the message should go, even what time the service should be held. If we are going to be committed to this church, then we want it to meet our expectations. It is an important decision for us, so we need to be critical. We want it to be a good fit for us, so we continue visiting new churches and weighing our options. Comparing them to each other, and to our own expectations. It is difficult to constantly be considering the pluses and minuses in order to make a decision. And even more difficult to meet new people, who want me to come back and I want to see again, but I know that is not possible for all but one place.

On the road, we do not have the same commitment considerations. We know that we are only visiting once – it doesn’t have to be perfect. We can walk in to a church without expectations, without standards, without judgements. It is easy; no real decision needs to be made.

And this concept does not just apply to churches, I think it applies to any place we visit, any community we are in. There is a difference between being a committed member, and a one-time-stop passerby.

Our conversation last Sunday really made us both think of how our perspectives have changed from RVing to living in a home. The dichotomy of our current lifestyle, balancing the travel and being at home, is going to show us the best and worst of both situations more clearly.

So, what can we take away from this new perspective that fulltime RVing has given us?

  1. Remember the ease of living on the road, and allow it to help us to remain in the moment. (And keep junk away from our house!)
  2. Cherish the community that we do build around our home. There are real opportunities there for investing of ourselves for a greater good.
  3. Some meaningful things in life take commitment. They come with dedication, decisions and time. They are not always easy, but they are well worth it.
  4. The freedom of the road is beautiful, but we need to keep it in perspective, so we do not become self-serving, taking what we want from places and not giving or investing in the area.
  5. When making long-term decisions, while we do want to be diligent in our search, I need to remember that not all judgements should be based on what I want. I need to see through my RVing eyes, and not be too critical or expectant of my perfect scenario. It will not be perfect.

I am not sure what the answers are, or what all of these considerations mean to us in the long run, but they are some of our ponderings currently.

Is there a balance to be struck between fulltime RVing and “home living”? I don’t know, reader, but I will surely try.

What are your thoughts on all of this? 

 

 

About Jen

I love travel, which led me to become a fulltime RVer. I love wellness, which I can talk about 'til the cows come home. I love being self-employed, which means I get to dabble in what interests me from essential oils to RV planners. But most importantly, I love my husband and our life together on the road!

8 comments on ““Everything is easier on the road.”

  1. Choosing a church is always difficult, but don’t forget to try to figure out what you could contribute to the family as you visit. Where will your ministry be in whichever body you choose?

  2. I’ve been really moved by the amount of introspection y’all have been sharing in your posts lately…and am touched by the beauty in your style of writing…your entries strike me as prose…thoughtful poetry so to speak.
    It’s been a bit of a rough few months here, and I’ve let my communications slide (I do owe you an email update too).
    Every entry I make in my calendar ( I 💕💕💕it) makes me smile as it reminds me of you and the fun times in Destin.
    We aren’t permanently on the road yet, but did find our retirement home on wheels last fall. We are looking forward to using it at our seasonal site opening up in a couple weeks…our last Michigan season if all goes well.
    Your adventures have given us lots to think about regarding the benefits of a ‘home base’ as well…and we are going to have a spot in New England near family for reasons similar to yours. We probably will be flipping the seasons tho…spending summer and fall in NH and the rest of the time on the go…that is the way we are leaning at the moment. I’ll definitely drop a line soon ( and if you could pm me the address for Wanderer’s Rest I’d appreciate it!)
    Keeping you both, and your families in my thoughts and prayers. May your blessings continue to be abundant.

    • Hi, Cindy! It is so very good to hear from you! As always!!! Thanks for sharing about your plans too. I will definitely be sharing more throughout the year on the pluses and minuses of having a home base, so I hope that will be helpful to you as you make your plans. You have the right idea – summer North and travel for the winter. After how long this winter has been, I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up shortening next winter. I will send the address, and know that you are always in my prayers! Hope you have a great season at the lake again!

  3. Things are easier on the road I think because as you said, we have lower expectations.
    When you try a church on the road you leave not because it didn’t fit but because you are leaving the area. It feels a bit weird to be “interviewing” churches and pastors. We have done just that and it all worked out but we did have to try several and it did feel a bit judgmental and at the time mean. Maybe you are in “hurry mode” after trying to get your new house finished or because you are ready to get on the road again. Deep breath, take your time, you are looking for a spiritual home . Savor the diversity and enjoy the process. So what if you don’t find it now. Perhaps after a trip seeing with renewed eyes will help you.

  4. Dear Jen,
    You didn’t mention it in your blog but I’m sure that you and Chris are sincerely praying about your search for a church. Unlike when you are on the road, you essentially are looking for a place to “belong” – a spiritual family. Don’t be in a hurry and, above all, keep seeking the Lord’s guidance in your quest. I truly believe that the Holy Spirit will speak to both of you and give genuine confirmation when you have found the church body where God wants you to “belong.”

  5. Dear Jen & Chris, thank you for sharing your candid and very personal thoughts. I discovered you both today while looking at videos about traveling in Victoria. I’ve been considering a trip there. After reading why you decided to RV, I started reading more on your web page. For many years I would have considered myself a Christian. I used to attend church and would have considered myself a pretty good person. I believed Jesus was the Son of God, but I can’t say that I had made Him my Lord and surrendered my life to Him. I don’t know if I was Born Again at that time. About 17 years ago after being “offended” by churches (really by the people in them, and by hypocrisy that I saw), I walked away from church and started a “spiritual journey”. Very long story, but I guess it was my spiritual RV journey. For about 9 months I studied other religions, read other religious books and studied New Age things. During this time I discovered that the supernatural world is real and I didn’t want anything to do with the devil. I cried out “Real God, whoever You are, I want to know You!” There was no major supernatural encounter, but Jesus just made Himself real to me. I would meet people that would say things that would make sense to me, the Bible started making more sense than it ever did. I was hungry for God and repented of all my old ways and came to Jesus whole-heartedly and totally on fire for God. I received what the Bible describes in the book of Acts as being filled with the Holy Spirit. My life was changed forever. God became real, He became my highest priority (although I still struggle with various distractions) and I began a journey into a new life walking hand in hand with God by the power of His Holy Spirit. I read the Bible a lot, prayed a lot, and attended many different churches. I didn’t understand that there were so many denominations, and it took me awhile to pray and read my Bible until I was able to discern error in various teachings. After 17 plus years now walking with Jesus and going through all kinds of adventures, trials, and joy, my short encouragement to you is that the most important thing we can do is to love God with all our heart, mind soul and strength and spend quality time with Him reading His Word and praying, and worshiping Him, and asking Him to fill us with His Holy Spirit and truth and keep us from deception. From the strength of that place He will lead us, however that looks like for each of us, and help us do the second part of what He requested, which is to love others as we love ourselves. He wants us to share the gospel, but the amazing thing is that we can pray and ask Him for boldness to do so, just like the earlier believers. I like to ask the Lord to fill my mouth with whatever He wants to say to each person I talk to about Him, as He knows what everyone needs to hear and where they are spiritually. Another important part of my walk with Jesus was getting re-baptized in full water immersion into the name of Jesus Christ after I had a better understanding that I was dying to my old life and sins and ways and rising up in Jesus with His new life and His freedom from my past. Perhaps you don’t need to focus so much on where to go to church, but rather on where He would lead you. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are the church. We are temples of the Holy Spirit and God lives in us. Jesus died so we all could be His Body and follow Him and be taught directly by the Holy Spirit. Paul said that “I need no man to teach me” because the Holy Spirit taught him. Do I believe in local churches, and pastors, and fellowship. Yes, absolutely! However, I don’t put man above God’s Word or my relationship with Him. I test the spirits, like the Bible warns us, because Jesus said there would be deception in the last days. I pray a lot and ask for discernment and that the Lord would show me if I’ve believed any false doctrine and that He would always lead me into His truth. I see every follower of Jesus Christ as my family members wherever I am. I go to church services where the Lord leads me to go, and sometimes He will lead me to be alone with Him for a season to work on me and my personal relationship with Him before I go connect with a local church. Jesus never died so we could have denominations (although He still works in them). There is much error in many organized churches (and among non-churchgoing people) because people have chosen to set up rules and regulations and systems that Jesus never intended, or they are disobedient to the Word. For many, the focus is no longer on serving God and loving Him with pure devotion, and then loving ourselves and others, but rather on raising funds to build a building and amass many church members that don’t seek God for themselves, but rather trust a man to teach them about God. A lot of people just go to church to be part of a moral social club. Then there are others on the extreme who seek His supernatural power, but not intimate relationship with Him. Many people don’t understand that Jesus didn’t just die so we could receive Him as Savior and not go to hell, but He died so we could repent of our sins, our way of life, and turn and follow Him and choose to walk with Him and obey Him, deny ourselves, and become His family members and know Him. This verse was so powerful for me. Jesus said: “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent”. (John 17:3). He wants to lead us by the Holy Spirit. We need to repent of sin if we make mistakes and ask God to forgive us as we forgive others. Many people are leading religious churches on their own understanding and with selfish ambition, or self-effort or ignorance to the Word of God , or/and desire for money, etc. Jesus said we are to come like little children. This verse has ministered to me so many times: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. I all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) We need to fully depend on God for everything. Jesus said “apart from Me you can do nothing.” (in John 15:5). I keep looking to find pastors and leaders that are humble and willing to admit that they don’t know it all, and that also really love the people they serve. I’m also seeking fellowship with believers who are hungry for more of God and will encourage me in my walk with Him to fully go after Him and not just seek Him on Sundays, or when they have problems in their lives. I want to be led by the Lord 24/7. I love the way Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit and only did what He saw the Father doing. He wants a personal relationship with us. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God..” (Romans 8:14). I pray that the Lord will lead you to the right place for fellowship, but most of all that He will lead you closer to Him. He loves us so much, He wants us to seek Him and love Him more than anything else. “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” (2 Chronicles 16:9). God bless you and lead you in your journey with Him!

    • Hi, Elizabeth! We are so glad you found us! And thank you for sharing your testimony. Reading your story has been a true inspiration for us in our search. You have really identified and articulated ways to seek God first in a church search. Thank you for the wise advice and verses to lean on. (And we hope you do get to Victoria – a beautiful city with a European flare.)

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