Two weeks ago when we flew to Chicago, I got a message from Chris Fabry asking if I would appear on his radio program to talk about the Moody Pastors Conference and whatever else was on my mind.

It turned out that we discussed many personal things, mostly centering on how the Lord led us from Chicago to Tupelo to Dallas and how our lives have changed in the last eight years. Along the way I shared a key insight that my good friend Colin Smith shared with me sometime during our last year in Oak Park. “Ray, I think God is loosening the dirt around your roots.” What does that mean? Before you move a plant, you first loosen the dirt so you don’t harm it in the process. That became a controlling metaphor that helped me understand what God was doing in our family.

That image has helped many people over the years. If you feel like someone is digging underneath your feet, it may be that God is preparing you for something new that you didn’t ask for or expect. In our case God use the wisdom of friends, cancer treatment, our boys going to China, and the indefinable (but very real) sense of God’s call to something new.

At one point in the interview Chris commented that it seemed like all the steps were deliberately planned. By God, yes. But not by us. You’ll hear a bit of laughter at certain points because it ought to be a joyful thing to look back and see the hand of God at work in situations that seemed quite confusing and uncertain when you were going through them.

This is a long way of saying that this spur-of-the-moment interview centered on how God guides us from where we are to where he wants us to be.

If you want to know how we got from Chicago to Tupelo to Dallas and why we do what we do, and if you’d like to know what God spoke to my heart in a very fearful moment, listen to this interview. I found myself greatly encouraged to tell how God has led us over the past eight years and how he has turned us into grandparents and what that means to us. I told Chris that when a man turns 60, he becomes a philosopher. This is mostly “back porch” musing, but I hope you enjoy it.

Click to listen to Loosening the Dirt