Many people continue to ask me, “are we happy in California?”
It’s kind of a hard question to answer. The truth is I don’t care much for Los Angeles. It’s dirty, crowded, unsafe, expensive, polluted, disorganized, worldly, and unfriendly. All of these things are compounded by the fact that we moved from Gilbert, AZ, which is literally (by the stats) one of the cleanest, safest, best organized, nicest places to live in the country. I was fully aware of both of these factors when making the decision to relocate, so I am not surprised or disappointed by our experience here. It’s lived up to our expectations. Yet I do feel a struggle within when people ask me how we like California. Because the people who ask typically have a genuine concern for us, I don’t want to disappoint them with a truthful answer. And giving them the long answer shared below is typically beyond the size of response someone expects to receive when asking a binary question…
LA does have a lot of cool stuff to do within short drive distances, I’ll give it credit for that, and I look forward to exploring and experiencing those things at a comfortable pace. I’ve heard it said that LA is a nice place to vacation, but not to live. That’s probably true, unless you’re in the Aerospace industry.
LA is a major hub of Aerospace technology companies in the US, and if I want to play on the SpaceX team, this is where I need to be. Yes, I could have applied for SpaceX jobs in Texas or Florida, but for the type of work and the team dynamics that I need to have, California is the best option. Besides, the people who work in Florida have terrible hours, they’re on conference calls all day long till 9 or 10pm in order to interface with California engineers, and the commute to both of these locations isn’t great either. So the grass isn’t necessarily greener you know…
But I don’t think we should be so focused on happiness. I believe God has appointed us to this time and place with a job to do, with good works that he has prepared in advance for us to do. When I keep that perspective, a lot of things become very small. The question of “are we happy” almost becomes irrelevant.
A great piece of wisdom was shared with me by Robert Keil prior to our departure from Arizona. He said, “the best place to be is wherever God wants you to be”. Amen to that. We feel the blessings of the Lord here. I love my job, we have good place to live, and Becca and the kids are having fun exploring the area and making new friends as part of their homeschooling. And we found a great Pentecostal church that cares for us and has a strong emphasis on worship, youth, and mission.
I think we put too much emphasis on our comfort. God cares about our comfort but that isn’t his goal. His goal is to use us to bring glory to his name. At least for the time being, I think we are in the right place, and that’s what matters. Now I just need to check my whiny hiny attitude at the door so that I can truly love the people and desire to see God move in this place. Give thanks, rejoice, and watch for God’s blessings! Thanksgiving is a cure for many spiritual ailments. When people ask “are we happy”, I want to be able to answer truthfully and without hesitation that we are happy, if even if not for the reasons they might expect. I would appreciate your prayers in that regard, to see these people and this place in the way that God sees them. To look beyond the physical to the spiritual, and to trust that God will “give you every place where you set your foot”. Josh 1:3