Ever since we moved into our house last year, I’ve been ambiently unhappy with the layout. “I know it’s the right house for us,” I kept telling B, “but I just don’t like how the space works.” I analyzed, organized, prayed. While I was sure God brought us to the right place, I started to wonder if maybe my unhappiness was part of the bargain. After all, what was the purpose of having a dream house that didn’t suit you, unless it was a roundabout way to learn some character lesson I don’t doubt that I could use some character lessons, but still…
Then, bursting with energy from my healed surgery and idle around the house, I decided to rearrange the furniture. We’d put the complete, more formal set into our living room, where it seemed natural to put it. I couldn’t imagine our mismatched “comfy” furniture right where visitors walked in, nor could I see crowding our large furniture set into the small family room. But I’m a little crazy, so I went right ahead throwing cushions this way and that, loading K onto couches that I slid from room to room.
I can’t explain it, except to say that everything felt different. We joked about releasing the house’s chi–we wouldn’t know if we did or not. But once I looked at the space, instead of the stuff that would go in it, setting aside what I thought I knew about where what belonged, things did belong. It wasn’t just the living and family rooms, but the dining and desk area, which went completely untouched. Suddenly, the spaces worked as I believe they were always meant to. A weight lifted from my heart.
It turned out there was a character lesson there after all. I get so bogged down by the things I think I know about myself and my life–the shoulds, the I’ve always done that, etc.–that I forget to look at myself as a vessel first, as a tool to be used by God. And sometimes it just takes moving a few things around to realize they didn’t belong there in the first place. Not as easy as sliding a couch or shimmying a bookcase, but it might just mean I’m not so crazy after all.