This post is going to be a little different than my usual ones. I wanted to write one on the city that I currently live in: Stockton, CA. I have been living in this city for close to 4 years now and I think its hard for people to understand why. I mean I’m not from here and there wasn’t a job or school that moved me here but I can definitely say that I have chosen to move and stay here.
The city of Stockton was labeled as the most miserable city by Forbes magazine in 2009 and 2011. It is also known for being one of the most violent cities. The food scene is really not that great here (well we do have some pretty amazing taco trucks). We do have 2 malls here but they are not that great. Besides the Decarli Waterfront in downtown, we don’t really have those nice attractions that would bring visitors to our city. I can honestly say that there are “better” cities in California like LA and San Francisco. Even while writing this, I really do have to ask myself why I do love this city.
The only real reason why I love this city is because I love the people here. I mean after all, people are what make up a city. I think about how it would be if I moved to another bigger and better city, would I really be able to commit to that city or would I eventually just get bored of it? I mean eventually those “fireworks” would stop and then what? Would I just move again? These are seriously questions that I wrestled with because there was a time that I wanted to move to another city. However, I know the Lord has called me to be here and I have decided to stay and commit myself to Stockton. I think about the relationships I have here and I am beyond grateful for them. These relationships are within the church and outside of it as well. These are the people that I enjoy spending my every day life with. I share meals and coffee with them. I talk to them throughout the week about my life and listen to them tell me about theirs. I agree and disagree with them. I laugh with them and at times, have been angry with them but I know that I love them.
You see, choosing to stay in Stockton is not because of the amazing things here, it is because I want to invest my time here. I may not have a lot of money to throw into improving the city but I can give what I can. I can pray for my city and continue to share the love that God has for the people here. Looking at what love really is, isn’t it supposed to be about giving rather than receiving anyways? So why not feel this way towards a place like Stockton?