How stability births meaningful movement
Much of the movement happening in our always-mobile culture is destructive, resulting in frenzied individuals, disintegrated families, fractured communities, and toxic environments. The engine of this destructive movement is the well-nourished desire for gratification through consumption. . . a repeating cycle of leaving and looking.
But some of the movement happening among us is powerfully effective. It grounds us personally, enriches our relationships, restores environments. This restorative movement is deeply rooted and others-focused. It is the result of staying and finding.
The distinction between the two kinds of movement is this: one seeks to get (to acquire, to consume), while the other aims to give (to serve, heal, restore). The secret of the kind of movement that restores is that it is the fruit of having not moved for a long time.
Movement that matters is borne out of authentic stability. Only those who have stayed long enough to know themselves and their mission can restore the broken world as they go. They become missionaries carrying hope. The rest are wanderers who are still searching for it.
So, the basic message is Go! Change the world. Restore the broken. But first, stay. For in staying one practices the skills, lives the commitment, and learns the value of stability. And stability is what makes going count.
Stability is what leads to movement that matters: movement that heals and does not harm, movement that is good, the kind of movement that restores all things.
-Nathan Oates, from the Introduction to Stability: How an ancient monastic practice can restore our relationships, churches, and communities