It just occurred to me that it never occurred to me to ask God where He wanted me to live. Last year, my wife and I found out we were pregnant, and so we decided it was time to grow up, move out of the 3rd floor apartment, and buy a house in a neighborhood closer to work. We knew that buying a house is one of the biggest and safest investments one can make, and so we did what came naturally: we looked for the best house in the safest neighborhood we could afford. It was practical, it was normal, and it was a reflection of our culture's habit of ignoring God's will in our decision-making processes.
Why is it a given that whenever we decide for whatever reason to relocate, that we immediately look for the "best" we can afford? Unlike our choice in automobiles or appliances, our choice of residency is not a private affair; it has much deeper implications than one's own preferences. Where you decide to live is not just your retreat and shelter; it is also a choice about the base of operations for our ministry to the world.
I have repented this comfort-centered attitude, but even if I wanted to reconsider now, we will not be in a position to relocate again for a long while. I'll never know if God wanted us somewhere else and we chose comfort instead. I'll never know if God would have used our family to be a light to desperate people whom we will now never meet. The flip side is, I'll never know if our neighborhood isn't exactly where God would have called us if we had surrendered our will and asked Him. He doesn't give us that insight. Perhaps he would have called us into a less comfortable community, but as my friend Michelle says, "Everybody's neighbors need Jesus; ours just happen to be poorer than yours."
The fact of redemption in a believer's life leaves no room for regret. God does not desire that I dwell in the guilt of what I could have done differently until I can be my own savior by fixing my own mistakes. Instead, He simply wants me to recognize my need for Him and my place in His kingdom, surrendering each following step to His will and for His glory.