Friday, February 28, 2014

Packed and Unsettled

Image by Hans Kylberg
Have you ever felt unsettled?  Either figuratively, literally or even sometimes both?  There are times when you return from vacation and decide not to unpack and a week goes by when you find you are still living out of your suitcase on the ground in your bedroom.  Opposite of this is the other end of your vacation when you have packed up too early and find that you still need your toothbrush the next day but you placed your suitcase in the car at the bottom of a several unnecessary things.  The point here is that in preparation for the journey ahead you sometimes forget that you haven't left yet and there are still some essential items needed for the current circumstances.

Back to the original point about the unpacked suitcase, I wonder if putting it off has something to do with not wanting to be home.  Maybe we don't want to accept the truth of the matter that the vacation is over and it is back to reality.  I won't dismiss the possibility of laziness, but on an existential level it can reveal the attitude of the heart.  Remaining unpacked from a period of packing reveals the desire to not want to stay in the current circumstance.  Likewise, packing too early can reveal this same desire to not want to be in the same time and place. Maybe we just need to be honest about our desire to not stay? 

This idea can be applied to a much larger scale, it has to do with one moving from place to place.  When my family packed up our house and moved from Flagstaff to Phoenix, we sold a large portion of our stuff and put the rest in boxes.  We moved in with my parents and begin the great hunt for the game of work.  We lived out of suitcases for the better part of a couple of months.  Once I landed a job that would provide we started looking for a house to "unpack" and "settle" into.  We realized the timing needed to purchase a house was too long and getting our son settled in school was a higher priority.  Even renting a house was proving time consuming therefore we settled for an apartment that took a total of two hours to sign a lease.

Once we moved in I had this notion that I didn't want to unpack.  I knew deep down, this is not where I wanted to stay.  This job was maybe for a year maybe two but this apartment was not the home we had dreamed of growing into.  Why unpack and settle into a temporary home when we could just as well be repacking the moment we open that last box?  So...we got out the essentials and unpacked the toys and everything else remained in a box.  We were unsettled but hopeful that this was not the final end to our journey.  Looking back I think it was providence that kept us unsettled, a perfect balance of contentment and expectation was the key.  There came a time when a quick decision was needed and we were prepared to not stay where we were.  The state of staying packed and unsettled proved beneficial for this period in our life and allowed us to, when called, respond with great ease.  We now find ourselves in a place that is home, with the house we dream of growing into and where our kids' memories will form.  It is safe now to unpack and safe to settle in, our guard has been dropped and our hearts have been stilled. Thank you Jesus for the perspective you have given my family; that home really is where we make it, so in reality we have been home all along.

the novelty section

My Million Dollar Ideas: The Buffalo Wing Brush (© Matthew J Diaz 2014)

The idea: If you have ever purchased a pair of hair clippers or beard trimmers you usually get a set of accessory items.  One of them is the world's tinniest brush for cleaning the clipper blades.  I'm not sure how much it costs to make these since only one is included, but hopefully there is a cheap way to manufacture these by the hundreds of thousands.

The Restaurant: This idea could be best implemented by creating an entire restaurant devoted to serving buffalo wings and a gazillion dipping sauces.  The catch is that we don't toss our wings in sauce, instead you get an assortment of sauces in a little paper cup (like the ones used for ketchup, the mini ones though) and you coat your own wings.  You take these tiny brushes and lather your own wing up with a sauce with however much or little you want.

-you can have multiple flavors with just a dozen wings
-you control how much sauce you want with each bite
-you won't get your fingers dirty with tossed wings or dipping
-by limiting the number and amount of sauce you can actually conserve it
-you are in control of your own buffalo wing eating destiny

Image above by Hans Kylberg (click name find image source) and the creative commons license info can be found by clicking here.

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