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The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

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The dangers of Rightmove

I’m a daydreamer.

I’m constantly imagining what life would be like if I applied for a new job, went on a holiday I’d been looking at, or moved to the coast, or to London, or abroad. A particular temptation here is Rightmove. I find myself searching for properties in the Lake District, Dorset, or the Highlands to see what we could buy with our budget – or twice our budget! And, with summer on the horizon – the most popular time to move house – perhaps you’re currently indulging in this sort of escapism, too.

I’ve always seen this as a fairly harmless hobby, but that was until I started reading the Old Testament stories of the Israelites’ journey to the Promised Land.

I live with my husband and young children in the suburbs of an East Midlands city. It’s a good place, with a lot going for it, and we were clearly led here by God just over 10 years ago. Since then, God has blessed us with a brilliant church, community, amazing friends, and great jobs, all within one or two miles of our home.

But still, my mind sometimes wanders into dissatisfaction. I love walking and beaches, beautiful landscapes and wilderness. Here, there are no spectacular natural wonders – just the city, sitting within a gentle farming landscape dotted with pleasant villages.

My attitude isn’t too dissimilar to the Israelites’ attitude to the Promised Land. As they journeyed through the wilderness, they often refused to trust in God’s goodness and see the blessing right in front of them. So, when they got to the Promised Land, they were intimidated into turning back, wishing they could head somewhere else rather than entering what God had for them (Numbers 14.)

It’s all too easy to have a similar mentality, daydreaming of another life rather than seeing God’s faithfulness in the here and now. But God extends the same invitation to us as he did to the Israelites.

When we commit to the places we’re already in, receive his vision for the work we’re already doing, and see where his Spirit is already moving, we’re then formed into people who witness and trust in his goodness. People who don’t seek to abandon the life we have, but consistently show up in a way that seeks his kingdom and his glory. And then, if we are called to move, it won’t be because of escapism, but because of a desire to live faithfully, wherever we are.

Remember that the next time you’re browsing Rightmove!

Sarah Street
Sarah works in Environmental Science and attends St Luke’s Church, Nottingham


  1. What a helpful article. So relevant for our restless culture ! Thank you.

    By Roger Simpson  -  12 May 2023
  2. “they often refused to trust in God’s goodness and see the blessing right in front of them.”

    Thank you Sarah, a gentle rebuke and a great encouragement to trust God where we are.

    By Samuel Mawhinney  -  12 May 2023
  3. Good piece. I suffer from no temptation whatsoever to browse Rightmove; for me, the process of buying a house and moving was mentally ‘heavy’ enough to desire to do it as little as possible in life!
    But your insight about practising contentment where one is can happily be applied to a far wider variety of circumstances than just ‘where you live’. For me, it’s resting content where I am in developing poetry, and not straining for ‘recognition’ too much before my time 🙂

    By Bruce Gulland  -  12 May 2023
  4. Thanks so much for this Sarah! A really helpful piece with a great challenge. For me, it’s spending more time than I perhaps should on Skyscanner, looking at all the places I could travel to for my next/future/hypothetical holidays, which can prevent me from fully appreciating the people and places in front of me!

    Matt Jolley
    By Matt Jolley Research & Implementation Manager
  5. The dangers of “Rightmove” ?
    A catchy title – but it must be said no inherent dangers in the company of the same name – though title might have inadvertantly suggested this.?

    By Jilli  -  12 May 2023
  6. Good insights! Thanks for sharing.

    By Estevao  -  12 May 2023
  7. Very true. After a few years of striving for ‘something better’ and harming my mental health I think I’m at last realising to be content with what I have and where God has put me.

    By Philip Hamilton  -  12 May 2023
  8. Ah, I relate so much to this as I have felt the same I think it’s partly why I started to write fiction, so I could create the beautiful places I wanted to live in! Actually, after a long time in London, my husband was called to ministry in a rural location. His gift to me? Fields, woods, the sea. Years ago, God gave me Psalm 37:3-7.. I offer it, humbly, to you.
    I loved your piece. ‘Daydreaming of another life rather than seeing God’s faithfulness in the here and now’ is a constant challenge. And important to be reminded of. Thank you.

    By Deborah Jenkins  -  13 May 2023

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