Friday, September 21, 2007


Back in my guitar playing days I had a song in my repertoire that went something like this: “I been to Reno, Chicago, Fargo, Minnesota, Buffalo, Toronto, Winslow, Sarasota”, etc., etc.,. I’m sure you've heard it; it’s called “I’ve Been Everywhere.” One day, I thought about it and realized that it was true. I double checked the words and sure enough, I had. In fact there is a reference in the verse to “totin’ my pack along the dusty Winnemucca road.” It’s now I-80, but back then it was US 40. Hitchhiking back to Iowa from California in 1948 I did just that. It has been a lifelong activity that has given me a keen appreciation for every state and several foreign countries.

In addition to vacations, business trips, and driving professionally (I still hold a CDL) I have also actually made residence in twenty different states and some of them twice (Colo., Nev., Mo., Neb.,) I have to admit each one had a definite upside. Many of these moves were prompted by promotions, lateral transfers and other business opportunities. The last two moves were not. They were of a result of a family conference and intentionally picking a destination to make a home and continue our life. When we left Wisconsin, we moved to Las Vegas, NV.

I was close to some of the kids and grandkids. Jan easily found the most rewarding professional opportunity she ever had. We enjoyed our stay there but it just didn’t have the fullness of life we wanted. During our stay I managed to locate a “living room” group and we met every Sunday to share the Word. Actually, it wasn’t that tough, it was in my ex’s house (we are all great friends) and it was a great little group. It was here that Jan visited one Sunday, had an experience with the Lord and joined not only the group but was baptized in to the company of Saints and most importantly, Jesus Christ.

Gradually, Las Vegas became more oppressive and we decided to move. But where? I threw a copy of Rand-McNally to Jan with a yellow highlighter and told her to outline an area on the US map where she would be content to live. What she returned to me is easy to visualize. Open the atlas to the US map and then place a large banana with its stem near Albany, New York and the other end near Tulsa, Oklahoma. That’s what her outline looked like. I then spent three weeks on the internet locating properties in our price range. I narrowed the list down from 360 to about 35 and set out in my trusty Explorer to see what they looked like in person. It took about two-and-a-half weeks, a ton of planning, endless photographs, and a fortune in phone calls to narrow the list down to five. There were no absolute losers.

After I came home and showed Jan the pictures and shared all the information I had written down we settled on a house in Mansfield, Mo. on five acres. We then sent the deposit to secure the property and a couple weeks later we set off for the Ozarks to seal the deal. The realtor met us there and I gave him additional deposit money, as agreed, and we inspected the house.

After we left, about ten miles down the road I began to detect some hesitation on Jan’s part about the house. We pulled over and had a serious talk. I encouraged her not to think she would hurt my feelings by expressing her concerns about the property. I believe the final word was, “It just doesn’t seem right.” We talked some more and the negatives kept adding up. Finally I remembered I had brought some reference material on other places in S.W. Missouri and we decided to check them out. A great relief came over both of us. We found a hotel in Springfield, had a nice dinner, and got well rested for the next day of House hunting.

In the morning, we set off, had a disappointment in Stockton, and headed for a realtor in Mount Vernon. After seemingly endless wanderings through the countryside with him leading the way we came upon a house set way back in the timber. The first week of March in the Ozarks is the absolute least favorable time of year to show a house. The forest is dreary, the weather overcast, and there is left over mud every where.

We loved it! We looked at no other properties and talked excitedly all the way to Tulsa where we faxed a counter offer on the house. We also kissed goodbye to the deposit we had on the property in Mansfield. The power of the circumstances which drove us to our new property bore the influence of God with no other option in both our minds. We “owned” that property the minute we saw it. There was no pillar of light or direction in a dream. It was simply an absolute compulsion to follow His lead. For once in my life I had the impression that I was doing His bidding to a tee. I realize that is not the only thing I have ever done which has pleased God. It was, however, the only time I have ever been so certain of His presence and direction in so personal a matter of such a worldly nature. It was an exhilarating experience.

In the decision process, we had of course prayed mightily, but in retrospect I’m not so sure we listened carefully for the answers. It’s possible I was so impressed with my organizational skills in the selection process that I assumed I was doing it by myself. How often does this happen in our lives? I assumed that God had turned it over to me when in fact the opposite was the necessary course.

This little twenty acre patch of oak, walnut and occasional other trees is dense and dark and forms a barrier sufficient to thwart any intrusion from the world. At night, there is absolutely no light from any manmade source. The quiet is deafening. Over the last three-and-a-half years we have labored long with a lot of sweat planting flowers, clearing brush and trees, and encouraging grass to reflect the potential which was in our minds eye when we first saw it. The flowers which God planted to separate grass from woods are yellow daisies and surpass in beauty all our meager efforts at horticulture. We have tailored the inside to suit our personalities and utility. At 1600 sq. ft., it’s not a mansion but it is more than adequate for a geezer and his bride, three cats, one Yellow Lab and one Shiffon.

So, finally, in my dotage I am content to love where God leads me. (I made what I thought was an error in the last sentence—love, not live. I think I’ll leave it alone.) I truly believe if God wanted me in Independence He would have so directed. I do believe that, for right now, this particular end of Mount Zion is close enough. We have a choice of four Restoration churches within a fifty five mile radius. We chose Carthage Branch at 40 miles, but we routinely visit the others.

Do I miss the excitement of Las Vegas, the mountains of Colorado, the seaside ambiance of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana? Will Cambridge, Mass., Louisville, Ky., Lincoln, Nebr, Topeka, Mobile, or Washington, D.C. ever lure me back? Could the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, the Packers of Wisconsin, the tunes in Nashville ever tempt me to return? Probably with no more likelihood than returning to the state of my birth, Iowa or it’s neighbor, Illinois. With every passing day, I find myself ever more willing to go or stay as God directs. If He is there, then I shall be happy. If He is not there, then I will be the same helpless fool I was before He changed my life.

What about you? Thinking of a change? I strongly recommend the ultimate in relocation advice: God Almighty. The price is right; all you have to do is ask.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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