Have you ever tried a geographical cure for your problems? Just move to a new city and leave your problems in the old one. 
The difficulties you’ve had and the challenges you’ve faced in the past are the fault of the clueless employers and insensitive co-workers you’ve been cooped-up with for all these years. 

So get a new job in a new place with new co-workers and everything will be different; you will be different. 

You’ll shed your pattern of procrastination. You’ll become a morning person who finds it easy to get to work on time. No more tying your tie or applying your makeup at stoplights. You’ll be proactive and positive. 

A geographical cure: a new place and a new you.

A few years ago, I read this tongue-in-cheek story in The Onion from Dec. 5, 2008:

ATLANTA – All of area resident Brian Shepard’s problems, including his fear of commitment, lack of personal direction and inability to learn from past failures, will be instantly solved this week when the 29-year-old packs up his belongings and moves to a new city. “Moving to Portland is going to make all the difference in the world,” said Shepard, who, just by putting 2,500 miles distance between himself and years of destructive behavior, will suddenly turn his life around. “It won’t be anything like Chicago, or Boston or San Francisco. This is exactly what I need right now.” Shepard also plans to completely eliminate his dependence on self-denial by ignoring his dependence on self-denial.

Speaking from my own experience, I can tell you that the promises of geographical cure are an illusion. 

As I heard myself telling a friend: “Mike, here’s something I’ve learned: Hell is portable. You take it with you wherever you go.”

There might be good reasons for taking a new job or going to a new school or moving to a new town, but a new office, a new classroom and new address don’t automatically make us new people. There’s no magic in a moving van. 

We can’t, after all, move away from ourselves. 

What we need is not a geographical cure but transformation – a deep healing of the wounds and brokenness that drive the patterns that hurt us and other people; an infusion of confidence that God loves us fully and joyfully, no matter what and forever; and a thoroughgoing renewal of our gifts and talents. 

Geography doesn’t cure us, but God can change us. 

Guy Sayles is pastor of First Baptist Church of Asheville, N.C. This column first appeared on his blog, From the Intersection.

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