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?
- 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!)
- Cherish the community that we do build around our home. There are real opportunities there for investing of ourselves for a greater good.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?