As a student in school I was taught about the Age of Exploration and the conquest of "The New World". One of the men I remember learning about was named Hernando Cortes, a Spaniard who is credited with conquering Mexico for the Spanish Crown. Legend has it that upon his arrival in Mexico, Cortes burned his ships so that his men would not entertain any thoughts of a return to Spain. Having no means of going back the men were motivated to press on with the task at hand, looking forward, not back.
Today I can say that I totally relate to Cortes' men. We have "burned our ships" so to speak. As I sit on my couch writing this I can say that I am gainfully unemployed. Last week we listed our house on the market for sale, Suzanne and I both resigned from our jobs and Danielle finished school. Our plans are now in motion for moving ahead to Mexico. THERE IS NO TURNING BACK!
To be perfectly honest I have been very nervous of late. Why? Because although we have wanted to make this move for a couple of years now, the reality is upon us. It is one thing to read in the WT about moving where the need is great or even to give a grandiose comment about being willing to sacrifice anything to serve Jehovah more fully. It is, as I am learning, another matter entirely to actually follow through and do it!
There is a realization I am coming to. Suzanne and I are no longer working. For the foreseeable future we will have no more money than we now have on hand. We will no longer be receiving vacation pay or medical insurance. How will we survive? What if one of us gets sick? What if the engine on the car gives out or...WHAT IF? WHAT IF? WHAT IF?!!!
Adding to my nerves has been the fact that many of the friends in the congregation have been buying our "stuff". They are stripping us clean! We have so far sold most of our furniture, only our dining room set remains. Over the past few weeks we had begun to tell a few brothers and sisters we were selling our "stuff" to raise money to go to Mexico. We also prayed and asked Jehovah that we would be able to find people who would need what we had and be successful in getting rid of them. Well, be careful what you ask for... It started slowly a bike here or there then all of a sudden bam! We have sold most of the big items, I have even sold my big screen t.v. and my grill! Oh well, no more bbq :-(
I was very encouraged by last Sunday's WT Study. It was difficult at first to see folks driving away with our things. When I would remember how hard we worked to acquire them and how much enjoyment we got out of them I found myself getting a little sad. But again Jehovah always finds a way to encourage us and correct our thinking. I found the article very encouraging; and have tried to apply it's encouragement- to not look back at the things behind. We have prayed for Jehovah's blessing and direction at every step along the way. We are acting in harmony with his instructions. Why would he leave us on our own now?
Yes we are selling our home and possessions. Yes we have quit our jobs in the middle of a recession. Yes I will no longer enjoy watching Monday Night Football on my 42" high-def flat screen from the soft comfy couch we have sold....Oh well, again I digress. The point is yes these things were very enjoyable but they are just that-THINGS! And really we can't take them with us to Mexico anyway so why the worry?
So for now having "burned our ships" we will try to not look at the things behind. We will keep pressing forward towards our goal. It is our hope that by month's end we will be south of the border. And with Jehovah's blessing we will become so preoccupied with our ministry there we will not have time to even think about the things left behind.