For the last three years I’ve lived in a neighborhood on the rim of the Capital Beltway. It has been a very convenient location for me and my family. We are close to Will’s work, the boys’ school, the boys’ winter swim club, our church, my Bible study and almost everything else. Because Dunn Loring (our actual address) is kind of in the middle, the boys have played sports in both Falls Church and Vienna. In many respects, I feel like we’ve held dual citizenship in both these Northern Virginia communities. And I have a great fondness for both Vienna and Falls Church because they each represent a piece of small town America imbedded in a metropolis — and since we all long to be known this “small town” feel is vital.
For nearly six months — knowing that we’d be moving — I’ve been studying and obsessing over real estate in these two areas, and I’ve thought about how I might maintain my dual citizenship. But it looks like (prayers that everything falls into place appreciated) we will be moving to Falls Church (renting for one more year, and then, Lord willing, buying). These two areas are only about five miles apart; I’ll be hardly any further from my Vienna peeps than I am now, but it feels like a big deal, like it has implications for my future, like somehow I am marrying one little town and leaving the other out to dry. And I hate leaving Vienna out to dry because Vienna has been good to me. It feels like I’m being an ingrate, unfaithful even.
Yes, I am being dramatic, but I really do feel sad about it. Do you ever feel sad about decisions you make? Not that you aren’t making a good choice, but that you are saying “no” to something else? Do we even stop to think that this is true? Because it is. When you move to a certain house, you are saying “no” to all other houses. When you accept a job, you are saying “no” to other jobs. When you buy a car, you are saying “no” to other cars. Choosing involves an implicit rejection of other options, whether we routinely acknowledge this or not.
This is true for our faith too, although we may be reluctant to frame it this way. When I choose (yes, it is both a moment in time and an ongoing, daily choice) Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I am rejecting all other faiths. And for those who say they really don’t know what they believe, in actuality, they are rejecting Jesus and all other faiths. It may be implicit, it may be something they would never verbalize, but those who try to take a dabble of this and a dabble of that are rejecting Jesus and the truth of the Bible. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “ All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (emphasis mine). Biblical Christianity does not have a buffet style, take-only-what-you-like option. C.S. Lewis was absolutely right — you can’t revere Jesus as just a good moral teacher, because He claimed to be God. As Lewis famously quipped there are only three options: Jesus was a liar, a lunatic or the Lord.
I hope you know Jesus as Lord. I hope you have the fulfillment, the meaning, the purpose, the forgiveness and the promise of living for Him. As Paul wrote to the church at Philippi, may we not set our minds on earthly things (being pre-occupied with Vienna v. Falls Church, for example), because our true citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:19-21). May I live this in the days and weeks ahead and not obsess over my stuff, nor where it resides. After all, my citizenship is in Heaven, thank God!