tonight i go to bed a kansan. tomorrow night i will sleep as a missourian for the first time ever. when i took the job at watkins mill, we planned to move to missouri to give me a shorter drive. the trick, though, was to cut down on my drive time without extending rene’s beyond reason. that proved to be quite a chore.
as we explored options in north kansas city, liberty, and lee’s summit (all of which potentially put us in a location for equal/reasonable drive time), something clicked one day. why not live downtown? once that realization set in, everything else snapped into a perspective not clear before. both of us discovered something startling. we were bored. specifically, suburban life with its soul-flattening monotony.
the appeal of moving downtown was manifold. first, we will live in a 4th floor loft in the river market area (just south of the missouri river), within walking distance of the popular city market shops. it can’t get much cooler than that. my driving to and from work will be reduced by about 20 miles each way (that’s 2-3 tanks of gas a month!). there is much with a mile or so, and i intend to try to walk as much as possible. that will rack up health benefits! groovy little shops and restaurants (from the dive to the swank) abound.
besides sheer lifestyle appeal, there is something profoundly deeper for me. i absolutely believe God has called us to live an intentional life in kansas city’s revitalized downtown. after all, the song says “You’re the God of this city,” not the God of the suburb! And come on, where does Scripture tell us to “seek the welfare of” the subdivision? i find it uniquely aligned with the activity of God throughout redemptive history. the Ancient of Days nevertheless continually is “doing a new thing.” our building, the old townley hardware company building, has a story, a history. parts of it were built in the late 1800s, yet it is repurposed to become fresh, new, and exciting in a way the builders never dreamed.
as we stand poised on the cusp of an entirely new and uncharted space in our lives, we are gladly trading pristine but hastily constructed apartments for the revitalized historicity of a loft. we trade the buzzing fitness megatemple that is lifetime fitness for the quaint and slightly run down cluster of machines at the ymca. we trade barely knowing our neighbors by sight, much less names or stories, for what has been described as the feel of a main street at the outskirts of an increasingly population-dense but relatively low-crime urban center.
how long will we stay? i have no idea. one thing seems sure – this isn’t a great setting to raise young children, although there is green space and even parks not too far away. but i’m really excited for what lies ahead. in a very real way, i feel i’m returning to my childhood. growing up in columbus, ohio, i could walk to so much that was interesting and rarely boring. to this day, my grandparents are regulars at high street’s one-of-a-kind eateries. the suburbs (or even – gasp – small town life) may lure us back someday, but for now we are anticipating the adventure of our lives.