For a long time I’ve had a dream that I could find a way to live an ultra-local lifestyle.
Last night, Sara and I made the strenuous 2 minute walk to the hotel next door to our apartment to get dinner. We’ve been meaning to try out this restaurant as they give us a 25% discount for living next door. We ended up running into a couple who lives in our building and so we sat down with them. It was a great impromptu double date with our neighbors.
Like most people in my faith tradition (Churches of Christ), I idealize the church in Acts. I don’t believe they were perfect, but I think we would do well to make more moves to get back to functioning more like they functioned.
When I read texts that say that they (Jesus’ followers) continued meeting together daily (Acts 2:46) I think, “why can’t we do that?” I can’t count how many times I’ve raised this question in classes, small groups and church meetings. Almost without fail the response people give is that this simply can’t happen in the modern world. We live 15-30 minutes from where we work. We get our groceries from the Super Walmart 10 minutes drive down the road. We go shopping for our clothes and other items 20 minutes away because the mall is nicer on that side of town and when we eat out, we choose one of 30 different restaurants just so we can do something different.
The way our cities are laid out plays a big role in perpetuating this spread apart lifestyle.
I’ve found myself in a unique situation in our new neighborhood. We are situated in a neighborhood where I can walk to 15 restaurants, 2 coffee shops, 3 hotels, 5 apartment communities, 1 grocery store, 1 bank, 1 dog park, 1 donut shop, 3 department stores, 1 driving range and a few dozen specialty shops in less than 10 minutes.
So I’m going to go for it.
Today I’m sitting in the hotel lobby next door. I got here at 9:00am to enjoy a free (and fantastic) breakfast, then had my weekly Google Hangout with the Luke10 Network leaders. I brought my laptop, so I’ve started working on a video for one of my clients. They serve lunch too, so I have hardly moved from my seat except for bathroom and stretch breaks.
Oh yeah, and I brought my secret weapon with me. Its a dog friendly hotel, so Jack has been sitting next to me the whole time. I’ve now met 15 (make that 16) people including mostly hotel/restaurant staff and a few local guests. A few of them have stopped for longer conversations. I’m taking mental notes, trying to remember names and things we discussed, because my plan is to come back.
I’m going to be leaving my 4Runner in the parking lot and walking to as many places as I can.
Because my plan is to keep coming back. I’m going to make it my business to become a regular at a number of places here. Because regulars turn into friends. And friendship is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about.