I Like To Move It
“The LORD had said to Abram, "Go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1)
Abraham was told to get up and move. Joseph was sold into slavery and taken to Egypt. Moses and the people of Israel spent 40 years journeying to the Promised Land. Ruth joined Naomi, leaving her home of Moab to go to Israel. Daniel and his friends were taken captive and led off to Babylon against their will. Jesus, took the longest journey of all, leaving his home at the right hand of the Father to be born in a Bethlehem stable.
If we’re moving, we’re in good company. Both exciting and a little scary, here are some top tips for if you’re moving to a new city.
1. Get yourself to Church
Everyone will suggest this and it’s for a good reason. People are most likely to drop out of church at points of transition so if you’ve just moved city you’re particularly vulnerable. Before you know it it’ll be six months down the line and you’re just as churchless as the day you moved. Church is a great way to feel grounded, get connected, and meet possible friends. And worshiping Jesus, that’s great too, obvs.
Scripture is full of reasons for Christians meeting together. Here’s one such instruction from Hebrews:
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
2. Be prepared to get lost
The last thing you want is missing the last train home and being stranded with no phone battery. We’ve all been there and it’s not fun and potentially quite dangerous. Pick up the local taxi firm’s business card and keep it in your wallet, it’ll come in handy. They often have a little office next to train stations.
3. Rainy day activities
Like Warhammer? Find your local Games Workshop. Like books? Locate the local library. Caffeine addict? Taste test all of the nearby cafés (supporting independent places is the best, plus when you’re a regular you can set up at tab!)
Whether it’s games, books or beverages- whatever you like to do, find your place to hang out on a rainy day. Mine’s a chai latte, thank you.
4. Get local online
Most areas now have a Facebook, Twitter or even Instagram account. Follow them and keep in the loop. Find out about festivals, exhibitions and concerts that you’d otherwise miss. They are also great at reminding you when to avoid certain transport routes due to ‘planned engineering works’-*groan*
5. Pray for your city
Hopefully you’ll love your move but the chances are that at some point you’ll feel despondent. Although it’s unlikely that you’ll have as awful a time as the Israelites in exile, it’s worth remembering what God said to Jeremiah:
“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” (Jeremiah 29:7)
6. Embrace the city
It can be tempting to live in a state of denial when we find ourselves in an unfamiliar place. This is even more tempting when you’re within easy travel distance of your previous home. Don’t keep travelling back every weekend, you’ll miss out on all the fun.
7. Ring home
It is easy to swing the other way and forget where you’ve come from and everyone you’ve ever met before your big move. Don’t forget the friends and family you’ve left behind. Drop them a line, with WhatsApp you have no excuse! Sometimes it feels as though their lives are just going on without you but you will be more missed than you realise.
Hear these words:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." (Deuteronomy 31:6)