My car’s out back if you’re ready to take that long walk from your front porch to my front seat.
The door’s open, but the ride it ain’t free. — “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen
In his classic song “Thunder Road”, Bruce Springsteen sings to a woman named Mary. He’s romancing her, inviting her to come with him on an adventure. Mary’s a small-town girl, she’s just graduated from high school and she’s got the chance to head out into the world. The Boss represents possibility for her – she can stay where she is, in the comfortable, the known, the safe, or she can climb into his car and take off for the open road.
The Boss can sense her uncertainty, her fear and reluctance to trust him. But he won’t make her any promises other than that to ride with him is freedom:
We got one last chance to make it real, to trade in these wings on some wheels.
Climb in back; Heaven’s waiting on down the tracks.
Come take my hand. We’re riding out tonight to case the promised land.
I love “Thunder Road” because it’s all about not being afraid to set out on a new adventure. To trust that the one calling you to leave is trustworthy. If you can feel that, then you’ll be on your way to understanding what’s next for Amanda and me:
I have resigned my position at Beavercreek Church of the Nazarene and accepted a teaching pastor position at Catalyst Community Church in Rowlett, TX (outside of Dallas).
We are not leaving Beavercreek Nazarene because we are unhappy here in Ohio. In fact, we moved to Dayton exactly one week after we got married – Dayton and Beavercreek Nazarene will always be our first home as Forasteros. We have made life-long friends here, and we’ve both grown personally and professionally in ways we’d never imagined. Plus, Dayton is one of the greatest cities in the world.
We are leaving for Dallas. For the opportunities that await both of us there. Amanda will have unparalleled opportunities to live and work among Spanish-speakers, which has been a goal of hers since college. And I will be co-pastoring Catalyst Community Church, leading at a level I haven’t had the opportunity to here in Dayton.
Amanda and I are very excited about our move, but of course leaving Dayton will be bittersweet.
We will always love Dayton, OH – the gem of the midwest. We’ve fallen in love with the city, and more in love with the people. We’ve made life-long friends here, and Dayton will always be our first Forasteros home.
And yet we have to leave. Dayton is safe; Dallas is scary. Dayton is our porch. It’s the known, the familiar, the comfortable. Dallas represents the new, the unknown. Both of us are going to be stretched in our careers way past where we’re comfortable. And right now, God is calling us to step out, to trust that this next adventure isn’t beyond what we’re capable of. That Heaven’s waiting out there, beyond the horizon, and the only way we’ll get there is by taking the plunge, following the Boss into the great unknown.
So we’re off to the Lone Star State!
Our last Sunday will be September 14. We’ll be moving in the next couple of weeks after that, and plan to be in Dallas before the end of the month. We’re heading for the land of Bluebell ice cream, of pickup trucks and cowboys (and Dallas Cowboys… you can’t win ’em all). The land of Tex-Mex and country music that hasn’t been Nash-vilified. The land where winter barely ever happens and the allergies have to be better than the Miami River Valley.
To all our Texas friends: get ready. We plan to hit the ground running.
To all our Dayton friends: plan your winter visits now. The next time a Polar Vortex rolls through Ohio, you have a warm(er) place to visit. Que bueno!