Monday, April 9, 2012

There's No Place Like HOME

As I’ve participated in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year, I’ve visited the host website almost more times than I can count. After stopped in repeatedly in the months and days before the Challenge began to make sure I didn’t miss anything and to help myself get ready for the event itself. I moved about the site, of course, checking out the various tabs, but anytime I found myself suddenly lost in a world of words, I’d hit the “Home” button and immediately find myself back where I started. On any website, I’ve found that “Home” brings me back from where I’ve wandered and centers my thoughts once more.

In my writing in general, I have a mental “Home” button that I push deliberately at times when I feel that I’m getting too caught up in the process or its results and have forgotten why I picked up a pen in the first place. I go back to where I started, refocus on my purpose, and proceed once more.

In my several decades of living thus far I’ve had many places that I’ve called “home”. I’ve lived in six states for various lengths of time and mentally picture my residences in each, smiling with delight at the memories despite the occasional difficulties with the people I lived with, the sparsity of the furnishings, or the beauty (or lack of the same!) of the natural surroundings. It was what my heart felt at each location that was important, not where my physical body found itself. The places I lived have never lost their status in my mind, even after I’d moved out and moved on; there are several places I still call “home”.

I noticed the same when I visited a church I’d been a part of for 21 years before a job transfer prompted a move to one closer to where we lived. When I walked in the door that evening, I could still sense the power of the spiritual experiences we had and the love we felt in the place in years gone by. I felt as though I’d come home. Something inside of me rose up at that thought, as if in acknowledging it I was somehow being disloyal to the body of believers I belong to now. I disregarded it quickly, as “home” just means a place where your heart feels comfortable; a place where it once found great joy.

Soon followed thoughts of my eternal Home. A lot of the anticipation of Heaven centers on the new things we‘ll see and people we‘ll meet. But the greatest joy of eventually walking through the heavenly gates my be the feeling of finally getting back to the place our souls began…a place our hearts have been longing to return to from the moment of our birth.

From wherever we’ve wandered, it takes more than just clicking a button on a keyboard or the heels of your shoes together to return. This day after Easter it’s good to remember that as much as we are dying to get there, Jesus actually did so, to ensure that we could.

“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”
(John 14:2 NIV)

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