Grandpa moved down even further south to take care of his step-mother, but even after she died he's lived there alone for probably 10 years or so. For all our prodding over the years to move up near us, his reply was always to laud the praises of low tax rates, no traffic, and a grocery store that has anything he could want.
Now days, I do believe the companionship of a low tax rate has proven to be bad company and with his visit here this week, he's realized that he's missing out on the lives of his only family.
It's taken 10 years and many missed memories to realize that change isn't always something to fear.
When we picked him up on Tuesday, before we even got outside of the city limits of his little town he began remarking on how long it'd been since he'd seen various landmarks... the further we got from his gloomy little home and comfortable small town, the more alive I could feel him becoming. During the few day visit, he was all things cheerful and social.
On the drive back yesterday I could almost feel him shrinking back at every mile that brought us closer to his home.
He'd stepped into the light and warmth of family and love... of conversations over coffee and memories shared with his only daughter... of cheerful homes and granddaughters that bustled in the kitchen.
Comfort zones and familiarity didn't seem quite so safe anymore. It's not safe to miss out on the good things God might have in store for you, just because of fear. Fear of anything, save the Lord, is bad company to keep.
Lea and I drove up to his little house near the water... we walked him back in his dark bachelor-kept little living room... we prepared to travel back home... he broke up and started to cry and said he wished we didn't have to leave. I wanted to cry and wished I didn't have to leave. I felt like someone who'd let a butterfly from it's cocoon, and then after letting it soar a bit, stuffing it back in it's dark corner. Offers to make a pot of coffee and stay for a bit was met with his over-riding concern about us getting home before dark. Bless his heart.
I think he will move here eventually. Hopefully soon. I think he's finally realized that comfort zones can be dangerous places and that fear is a bad companion. A fresh and good reminder for me too.
It forces me to examine my life... comfort zones I am clinging to and fears I am friending.
Whenever Grandpa does move down, I know there will be growing pains. Things to get used to. Give and take. That's life.
This I'm learning: there's no life in clinging only to what you know because you're afraid of what you might get. I must choose to open my heart and walk outside of my comfort zones. There is always risk involved in both of those things... but to choose risk is to choose faith, and to choose faith is to choose the way of blessings.
I want to choose the way of blessings. I want to choose faith. I want to say no to fear and no to perpetual comfort zones. I want to say yes to Jesus. Always. Every time. The Jesus way is always best.