Wicked Awesome!

I grew up in the Midwest, but I’ve been living just inside the city limits of Boston, Massachusetts, for about eight years, now.  It’s been nice, but of course I’ve long accepted that I’ll never blend in as a bonified “New Englander,” for my cover would be blown before I’d ever managed to complete a single sentence.  I simply don’t have a knack for placing the “r” sound in places for which it isn’t called, and removing the same sound from places in which it is slated to live.  I’ll never master the art of telling someone to “Pauk thei’ caw nea’ Hauvad Yawd” without it sounding forced.  No, in this one example among many, New England is a very different culture from that in which I grew up.


Another example of my inability to mesh with my surroundings is my staunch Conservatism.  I am a rarity here, so much so that it actually amazes me when I cross paths with another Conservative beyond the scope of my everyday environment.  It’s just that unlikely.


But, beyond such traits which serve to expose me as an outsider, I do mesh in other ways.  Like my New England neighbors, I absolutely love fresh seafood; I’ve learned that not all clam chowders are created equal.  Before coming here, I was told to prepare myself for the natural “rudeness” which is a part of the culture of the northeast.  But, I’ve found that this label is a misguided one, for people here are, as a whole, not rude at all.  Rather, they are just honest; honest at a level which seems oddly foreign to most of us who grew up elsewhere.  Of course there are a few exceptions–just as there are those in the Midwest who are not wholly “good ol’ boy” in demeanor.  But, by and large, I’ve learned that Bostonians are refreshingly straightforward.


But I’m not really writing this article to expound upon the virtues of any American subculture, for I’ve learned that, though there are differences, there is also a vast number of similarities.  We’re all human, after all.  And one of those similarities is the desire to achieve.


I think that, for whatever reason, this desire is manifested here in a more measurably materialistic way than in other regions.  Perhaps it’s because of the emphasis on academia.  Maybe it’s because of the city’s proud history.  It may simply be because of the high cost of living.  I don’t know.  I just know that it exists.  And, it’s far more contagious than I could have ever imagined.


When we moved here, it was our plan to be out of our “temporary” apartment and in a single-family house within three years.  Soon after arriving and assessing the cost of housing, we amended our plan to four years.  As time has unfolded, our address has remainded the same.


Don’t misunderstand–I feel blessed.  Our apartment has been a wonderful place, albeit a crowded one.  But my dream is to once again be in a house.  Somehow, it seems like that a house would be more of a home; less “temporary.”  This is where I find myself in good company.  This is where my goal of “achieving” becomes problematic.


But now, even though I would love to be in a house–a place which is wholly ours from front drive to back yard–I’m seeing God’s gentle hand in reminding me that any focus, any desire, which gains preeminence over God-given focuses and desires, is wrong.  And, in the spirit of straight-forward speak, it is sin.


Now, I understand that God doesn’t mind when we hope for things.  He doesn’t mind when we want things.  He doesn’t mind that I wish we could put an offer on the red house down the street.  But, such wishes need to be cloaked in a willingness to rest in God’s provisions.  Such wants need to be relegated to proper perspective.  Some things are simply more important.  I find it so amazing and beautiful that God used these incredible New Englanders–through both good and lesser examples–to remind me of that very thing.  And, in my best affected Bostonian, I have to say that it’s “Wicked Awesome!”




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