February 16, 2014
Who doesn’t want to go home?
That is the place we want to be, even if for just a visit. For whatever reason, our current environment does not quite hit the mark. Warm images melt themselves into our minds. The variations are as numerous as the individuals who are daydreaming. Where is home? Usually, it’s some other place.
A lot of sentiment is tied up in this word. Home is a place where we are completely accepted, and where we know we can be ourselves. It may be an echo from an earlier time, or it may be a place we’ve seen in pictures. (Have you ever looked at a photo, and said “I want to be there. Right now.”? I have.) The home we picture may only be in our imagination, but we believe that when we arrive, we will be home. Home is not here. It’s there.
“Home, home on the range, where the deer and the antelope play. Where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day.” Really? Was life on the range all that pristine and gauzy-soft focused? If not, then why the longing?
“Take me home country roads, to the place I belong…”. Belonging. That’s the urge. We want to belong.
When I’m not home I feel unsettled.
Something is missing. Things are not quite in sync. The longing sometimes defies articulation. Even so, there is something well-defined about being home, because we know that what we have here and now – isn’t.
Unless our childhoods were horrible, we love to go home. We love to go back to the place where we grew up or at least spent a significant part of our early years. We like to mind-travel to simpler time and places, where life was more predictable, more familiar. We want to be with the friends we had there. It may not have felt good at the time, but that memory fades.
If we grew up without roots, then we want to finally be settled in a place we can call our own. We want to arrive at this elusive spot where everything will be just so. At that place there is comfort and there is acceptance, and the things I really want will be in reach.
There is a reason for this longing. We are not meant to live in a sin-broken world. The first residents of this earth had no knowledge of good or evil. Their home was perfectly suited to them, and they to their home. Imagine complete innocence. Imagine no understanding nor even any knowledge of sin. Imagine no guilty conscience.
Because of their unfortunate decision to directly disobey God’s commanded path to healthy well-being, the whole creation now suffers. Disintegration, debilitation, depreciation, degeneration, dilapidation and disruption are normal. Nothing quite fits. Death is in our future.
No matter how good you make things in this life, and no matter how comfortable it may be, you will never quite feel at home. That is because you have a deep longing for perfection. You have a longing for purity and rightness. Indeed, you were made for perfection and rightness. (This doesn’t mean you cannot reach a place of contentment. True contentment realizes that not everything works like it should, nor do we get whatever we want, but we trust God anyway and receive it all with thanksgiving.)
I have written before that everyone worships. That inclination is built into our DNA, and causes us to long for something transcendent, permanent, settled, and fitting.
You will assign transcendence to something or someone.
We all do. Often it is to ourselves and our own minds, or to scientific method that we assign transcendence. We may assign it to this or that political savior, or to a meaningful philosophy. In any case, our longing for home cannot be satisfied any other way than by kneeling before our Creator.
There is a place being prepared for those who trust Jesus as their only means of deliverance from the sinful impulses of our hearts. The kingdom He is creating will be forever a place where there is no knowledge of evil, and thus no desire for it.
That is home.
Even so, some think the longing for the eternal (for home) must be filled some other way. Those who persist in such pursuit will forever be homeless, which is true misery.
Where do you look for the settledness of home?