When is it okay to yell, “Fine! You win! I’m out of here!” and leave a situation? A relationship (not marital), a church, a location?
It is so incredibly tempting for me to place “somewhere else” up on a pedestal and imagine my life lead somewhere else. Somewhere I could look around and the neighbors would all speak the same language. Okay, I don’t care about that too much, except the rare occasions when I need to talk to one of them. How about “somewhere the neighbors don’t do drug deals?” I hear things about the midwest – that people there are straightforward German stock and say what they mean, mean what they say, and play by the rules. Huh. That doesn’t sound bad. I’m not into heat or bugs though. My folks just went camping, had a major mess – dad ended up in a hospital outside of Portland, and my mom could *not* stop going on about how nice and helpful everyone was. I remember my last stay in the maternity ward… the nurse that wouldn’t put my baby in the port-a-crib for me because “you’re just going to have to do that yourself when you go home” (and she was in the room with me anyway). Golly. People who were nice would be …nice. I grew up here in SoCal, I wouldn’t even know what to do with people who made eye contact on a regular basis.
What do you do when you have radically unequal friendships? People who are plain mean to you half the time, or incredibly selfish? People who don’t know the rules?
When your church dies off, switches pastors and the new one is a dud, people are leaving every day and it’s just …dead… spiritually. When do you decide to be one of the ones leaving?
What about the school system? When do you stand and fight and push back for all those without the resources to do the same – and when do you say, “enough” and send the kids to parochial school or start homeschooling?
When do you get to decide, “Forget this – I’m outta here”? When is it our call to be the lamp on the hillside, and when do we get out of Jericho before the walls come down? How do we know the difference?