Above the maze
A Christian Science perspective: Selling a house and buying a new one can sometimes feel like being in a maze. Read how this homeowner found a way out.
Several years ago our family needed to sell our house. No matter how hard we tried, the house would not sell. It was as if we were trying to find our way through a maze, but no matter which direction we took, we ended up at a dead end.
We’d signed a six-month contract with a real estate agent. After the house was on the market for a few weeks, the agent suggested we make some home improvements. This we did. But then the agent showed the house only occasionally, and when he did, there was no interest.
At the end of six months, the children and I were still living in the house, and my husband was living in a spare room in a town 300 miles away, where he had a new job.
We signed up with a new agent. Once we’d signed, this agent was very critical of the house and said we needed to lower the price considerably. We had serious concerns that the new sale price would leave us in a bad financial position, but we agreed. We had more showings, but still no offers.
We were moving to St. Louis. The botanical garden there has a Victorian Era maze with an interesting twist. Next to the maze there is a two-story gazebo with a second-story balcony. From the balcony you can take in an aerial view of the entire maze and easily determine how to find the way out.
I realized that I needed a “balcony view” of our housing situation. To complete this move I had to do something more than hire agents and make home improvements. I needed to find a higher vantage point to lift me above the limited view of existence as a conglomeration of material factors – troublesome real estate agents, restrictive economic conditions, and the passage of time. I needed to gain a spiritual view.
In her book on spiritual healing, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mary Baker Eddy explains: “Spiritual vision is not subordinate to geometric altitudes. Whatever is governed by God, is never for an instant deprived of the light and might of intelligence and Life” (p. 215).
As I reached out to God in prayer and sought to view the situation with spiritual vision, these verses from the Bible came gently into my thought: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5, 6).
At once I could see that if I put my trust in God, this would lift me above the fear and sense of limitation and carry the family forward to our new destination. In the days that followed, I frequently paused to consider if my reasoning about the sale of the house was based on an awareness of God’s government. If it wasn’t, I considered the promise of the verses from Proverbs and the many examples of the action of God’s government found in the Bible. As my thought changed, my expectation of success was rekindled.
Soon, on a rainy day, a call came from the agent. She had someone coming to look at the house. The children and I quickly picked up the clutter and slipped out the back door. But when we returned, I was very tempted to be both angry and discouraged. The prospective buyers had left a trail of muddy footprints on the new carpet.
As I took in the scene, the words “Trust in the Lord!” rang in my thought. I resolved to stay calm, not react, and wait on God. Later that same day, the agent called to say the couple who had viewed the house that afternoon had made a good offer. This was the only offer we had received in eight months. We joyfully accepted it.
Several unexpected problems slowed the final closing on the house, and the urgent need to buy a new house in a fast-paced market provided more opportunities to strengthen my trust in God. However, even though we sold our house for less than we’d hoped for, we were able to buy a lovely new house at a price that was well within our budget. The time spent waiting for the sale was challenging, but I am still grateful for the experience. The new spiritual perspective I gained continues to lift me out of the maze of limited material reasoning to perceive the activity of God’s government in my life.