In the World–October 24, 2021

Download “In the World” for October 24, 2021 here.


As the pandemic caused a shift from in-person employment to remote work, people began to realize they didn’t have to live in the big city anymore. If they weren’t forced to show up at the desk at 8:00 a.m., why fight the traffic and endure the other hassles of urban living? Realtors in the Seattle area, for example, found demand skyrocketing for housing in more outlying and rural areas. “People were coming up to the islands and Whatcom County in droves,” said real estate agent Annie Dameron Pederson. People began to arrive “with cash to spend and mountain bikes in tow,” said Windermere agent Damian Pro. “​​They have this mentality of, ‘We want to live our best life.’” For them, that means moving away from something.


For the psalmist in ancient Israel, pursuing the best life meant moving toward something—namely, the temple, the place where God was thought to dwell. In our passage today, the psalmist admires the swallow, who builds a nest very close to the altar of God. He wishes to be the lowest servant in the house of the Lord rather than to dwell in lavish luxury with the wicked.

  1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?
  2. When have you taken a big step back and reevaluated important aspects of your life?
  3. What do you do when you feel a desire to move closer to the Lord?

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