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Guest Editorial–Jim Buller

Guest Editorial–Jim Buller

Country Living is more about lifestyle than location.

It seems that regularly, I hear people talking about how nice it would be to live in the country. But almost in the same breath, they bemoan what they see as the ‘fact’ that most people, (including themselves), are simply not able to make it happen. Usually this is due to a shortage of finances. And it is true that it costs more to live in the country, IF you are living the city lifestyle. If nothing else, it will simply cost more to transport everything the additional distance into the country.
The problem is, the city lifestyle is the ONLY lifestyle that many people know —so of course this lifestyle gets projected into the country when we talk about country living. However, this leaves several important factors out of the equation:
(1) Jesus said, “Without me you can do nothing,” and “With God, all things are possible.” (John 15:5, Mark 9:23.)
(2) Country Living is about character building. (See FE 326.) Character is defined as the sum total of all of our habits. (See COL 356.) Therefore, building our characters, by definition, will mean changing our habits, which cannot help but result in a change in our lifestyle.
(3) Country living is God’s answer to not being able to buy or sell. (See Rev 13:16-17, CL 9-10.) Now, we just recognized that it costs more to live in the country, so how can country living possibly be the answer to living without any cash exchange? The city lifestyle, (whether lived in the city or in the country), simply won’t work —unless you are planning to receive the Mark of the Beast. Therefore, in order to be the answer to not being able to buy or sell, what God must have in mind is for country living to minimize the amount of money needed in order to make life happen —to the point that we will eventually be able to get by without it altogether.
(4) Country living is all about being self-sufficient —growing and making the things you need for yourself. This requires a certain amount of know-how, skills, and equipment. By contrast, in the city lifestyle you just go to the store and buy what you need. Apparently much more simple, easy, and convenient. But, the city lifestyle sets us up to receive the Mark of the Beast.
(5) So, why should God “open the way” for us to live in the country, (see CL 24), if we are just going to continue living the city lifestyle, setting ourselves up to receive the Mark of the Beast, and end up being lost?

Again, the problem is that the city lifestyle is the only lifestyle most of us know. So the question is: Are we willing to give up our ease and convenience, let God develop our characters for heaven, and change our lifestyle? Are we willing to start now, wherever we are?

As stated at the beginning of this post, country living is more about lifestyle than location:
• There are those living in the city who live the city lifestyle
• There are those living in the country who live the city lifestyle
• There are those living in the country who live the country lifestyle
• And there are even those living in the city who live the country lifestyle

The problem with living a self-sufficient country lifestyle while located in the city is a shortage of resources such as: having enough space to grow your own food, being able to have an independent water source, and having enough trees to cut for heating and cooking.
However, even if you live in the city there are many things you can do to get started. If nothing else: start gardening in containers; start collecting necessary equipment; begin learning some skills; and store up some food, water, and other supplies so you don’t have to run to the store for every little thing.

Let God know that you are serious about living His country living lifestyle, even if you are living in the city, then trust Him to open the way for you to locate in the country.

Please don’t misunderstand me here. I’m not saying that the city lifestyle is ‘bad’ or ‘wrong.’ It’s just like when Paul said, “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” (1 Tim 6:10.) We all recognize that money in itself isn’t bad. It’s just that if money, or the city lifestyle, is not related to properly, can cause all sorts of problems.