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The last move, or so we hope

By Mike Ruffin f all has gone according to plan, then your reading is coinciding with our moving. The movers picked up our furniture and other household belongings in Fitzgerald yesterday and are unloading them at our new house in Yatesville today. If all goes according to plan, this will be our last move. We sure hope so. We’ve moved a lot. Well, not a lot compared to some families, but a lot nonetheless. My Good Wife had more experience with moving during her growing up years than I did. My mother birthed me on September 24, 1958 at the Maternity Shelter in the old Health Department Building that sat across the street from the New Gym (officially known as Alumni Memorial Hall, it hasn’t been new for several decades now) at Gordon Military College and up the hill from the Little League field and swimming pool where I would later spend many happy days. Then, my parents took me around the corner to 228 Memorial Drive (it was actually 317 Memorial Drive at the time, but they changed the numbers later, for some reason), and there I stayed for 17 years until I left for college. My Good Wife’s family, on the other hand, lived several places in Calhoun County before finally settling down in the middle of some peanut fields about halfway between Leary and Morgan, which is where she was living when she left for college. Luckily – providentially, I think – we arrived at the same college and it was there that we decided that whatever future moving we did, we’d do together. So when we got married we moved to 1548 Johnson Avenue, Apt. 2, in Macon and lived there for a year while she finished at Mercer. Then we moved to U-7 Seminary Village in Louisville, Kentucky, where we lived for my first two years of seminary. When we realized that my academic ambitions were going to keep us in Louisville for a while, we moved to a house at 251 Saunders Avenue. We brought our firstborn, Joshua, home to that house. My first job after seminary was in Adel, Georgia, so we moved to the sprawling ranch home that was the First Baptist Church parsonage. We brought our second and last child, Sara, home to that house. When I took a job teaching Religion at Belmont University in Nashville, we moved to 5023 Marchant Drive in that city. While I served as pastor of The Hill Baptist Church in Augusta, we lived at 2906 Sussex Road, just down the road and around the corner from the course where they hold that little golf tournament in April. Most recently, we have been residing at 126 Meadowlark Lane in Fitzgerald where I was pastor of another First Baptist Church; we closed on the sale of that house last Friday. Whew. I’m tired. I’m not sure why we’ve moved so much. Maybe it was self-preservation; perhaps I thought it was harder to hit a moving target. Maybe it was just wanderlust. Really, though, we have felt like we were doing what we were supposed to do in every move we have made. Today’s move to the Ruffin Family Farm just outside metropolitan Yatesville, though, will be it. We’re staying put. Whatever we do from here on out, we’ll do it from there. And believe me, there is still a lot we want to do. Besides, you can go anywhere from Yatesville, Georgia. And you’d be surprised what you can see just sitting there. It’ll be good to put down roots and see how tall we can grow staying in one spot. Still, honesty compels me to admit that there’s still one more move to make, but that one will require us to stop breathing, so hopefully it’s a long way off. We sometimes refer to it as arriving at our final destination, like it’s a place where we’ll land and just sit around being happy. I can’t help but wonder if we’re thinking right when we talk like that. I remember a couple of gospel songs from my growing up years. One of them said, ‘I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop.’ The other proclaimed, ‘Just a cabin will do.’ I actually heard some serious discussions over whether we could be satisfied in heaven with just a cabin or whether it would take a mansion to make us content. Just speaking for myself, make mine a cosmic Winnebago. There’ll be too much to see and do to sit around the house… Michael Ruffin is curriculum editor for Smyth and Helwys Christian publishers and a native of Lamar County. He is a graduate of both Mercer University and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and has served Baptist churches in Fitzgerald, Adel and Augusta. Ruffin also has served as Associate Professor at the School of Religion at Belmont University in Nashville.

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