Monday, October 12, 2009

Home...How Do I Get There?

Home…. such an interesting word don’t you think? I have heard this word a billion and one times in my life. I have used the word myself many times, yet I am pondering the true meaning of this word at the moment. Those of you who know me, know that I am a thinker. I am always thinking and pondering things. It has proven to be a strength and a weakness to me over the years. I am not real sure which one it will prove to be on this subject matter, but the risk of this has never stopped me from blurting it out before, so why start now.

I think the English vocabulary is one of the weakest in the world. We use words so loosely and we literally strip our words from their true meaning. We also will use words in a broad spectrum taking away the power from that word. For example…LOVE. We use this word to describe many different things. ” I love that car…or I love pizza”. Then we will take that same word and turn it loose on our spouse, family member, children, etc. What is wrong with that picture? How can we use the same word to describe how much we like a car or favorite food, and then use the very same one to describe how we feel about someone? I just does not make logical sense.

The Greek language, as found in the New Testament, has one word to describe how one will feel about, say, a good friend (phileo), and an entirely different word to describe how one would feel about their wife or children (agapaō) Of course, the translations into english converts both words into the same old pathedic work the we generalise for everything we like a great deal…..LOVE. We will say I love this kind of candy and then turn around and say I love God. I am not to sure if our Father is pleased with this comparison.
I say all of this to make a point. I believe the word “Home” is used in a similar way. (By the way, I just noticed that my font has somehow changed, but I am to lazy to go back and fix it, so don’t be confused here.) We have all heard the term “home is where you hang your hat” or “home is where the heart is”, but I would like to challenge this notion by simply asking….is it really? I have heard this word used to describe the hotel one was staying at at the time, the place where they were raised as a child, or the place where one would receive their mail. Let us see what our good friend Webster says. ( 1: one’s place of residence, 2: the social unit formed by a family living together, 3: a familiar or usual setting : congenial environment; also : the focus of one’s domestic attention, 4: a place of origin, 5: an establishment providing residence and care for people with special needs, 6: the objective in various games like home plate in baseball) There are a few more, but I am getting tired of copy and pasting here. Nevertheless, I hope you get my point here… One word that says a number of things.
I have been thinking much about home the past few days; maybe the past several years, though I may have not realized. I know, as a child of God, when I leave this world I will be home with the lover of my soul, but what about here on this side of eternity? Is there such a place for a disciple? Can a Christian have a place to call “home” in this life, or should it be exempt from the disciple’s vocabulary? I know Jesus said that He had nowhere to lay His head. I also know that the “WORLD” is not home to us that are called out of darkness into His marvelous light. I further well know that there are many scriptures that teach us that we are set apart from this world and that our home is with the Father, but why are so many people, who are supposed to fit in this category, spending so much of their time preparing and vocalizing their “home/homes” on this side? Many work and work to provide a “good home” for their families and themselves. We spend so much time, money, and effort to make sure we are comfortable in this life. My only question is… is this okay or is this a direct contradiction to the scriptures themselves?
I can’t help but to think of my grandmother, who just “went home” this last January. This women loved God. All this women would talk about was or beloved Father. I am reminded of a day that I was sitting with her at the kitchen table, and we were talking about God when she seemed to have left me there all by myself, though she was sitting right in front of me. She was looking out the window while she began to tell me many of the times the Lord helped her through the years, when all of a sudden, with her eyes looking up to the sky while looking out that window…the sun shining down upon the silver hair of hers, she just simply said…”Oh Lord how much longer must I stay in this world? How much longer must I wait to go home”. My grandmother had absolutely no doubt where her home was. She had no earthly treasures. She had no fancy house, or shinny new car in her driveway. My grandma loved the Father the way she did because she found her home in Him, and He had a home in her. She had no ties to this world, nothing that made her want to stay in this place. She wanted to go home.
I have traveled many miles, done may things, and joined a number of churches. I have joined in with Christian communities, poured my heart into several ministries, and believed in many men’s visions. I have endured hard times, broken hearts, and disappointment time and time again. My life’s journey thus far seems to have already been an eternity. I am tired and beaten down. My strength is almost gone. My patients have ran thin, and I feel I have reached the end, of at least this leg of my journey. You see, all of this time I have been trying to find home. I have always felt homeless. I have been on a pursuit to find a home that can fill the empty place in my soul. Even as a child I never felt at home, but I believe that I am finally starting to understand some things. I am beginning to really understand what my grandmother would describe in nearly every word she spoke. My grandmother felt just like I do, only she had already learned that her home could not be found on this plaint. Home can not be found, not only in earthly treasures, but it also can not be found in any ideology of man, their visions of God’s will, interpretations of scripture, churches/communities, or any other form or structure. I feel homeless because I am homeless in this earth. I do not belong here. No matter where I go, or what I do, I will never find home nor the feeling of home on this side.
The truth is, no matter where I go it seems everyone knows what God wants, or at least they believe they do. One man believes it is five fold ministry and this will usurer a the last day revival, so he pours his whole life into seeing this grow and come to pass. Another believes that God has given him the vision of what the body of Christ should look like. It looks like a few hundred people sitting around on a farm some ware, living in the same house as everyone, arguing with one another about all the flaws that they find in each other through this structure of living, and some how, through all of that, the world will see Christ, so he pours his life into that. Another one is just happy to be doing church the way they have always done it and believes it is THE WAY, so he pours his life into that. Yet another thinks it’s all about numbers and how many baptisms they had last year, and they go to conference after conference to learn what “program” changes they can make to have bigger numbers next year. I can go on and on with this line, but I will spare you the pain. The thing is, it was all of these things and more that has made me understand what Paul meant in 2Co 11:3 when he said “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” What is the simplicity in Christ? Well I have my own ideals of what they may be, but I can definitely tell you that none of the things mentioned above fit into that category because there is absolutely nothing that is simplistic about it.
What if it is as simple as this…what if we just love God and love each other as ourselves? What if it is not about one mans ideals/vision, church doctrine, baptizems, numbers, ministries, or building anything? What if it is just about loving those in front of you. Isn't that the example Jesus left with us. After all…He said that this very thing is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets. FULFILLMENT!
Well, I don’t know much, but this I do know…I am done chasing after a place to call home. I have found my home…IN CHRIST, and CHRIST alone. So many out there that are searching for “God’s Will” for them. Where does God want you to go, or what does He want you to do for Him? What is your calling? Let me help….Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and then love you neighbor as yourself. I promise you, that is His will for you, and all that are called by His name. Let us never make ourselves at home in this world. Not in earthly goods, or “Christian” movements. I know this seems to go against the grain of the flesh, but duh…it is supposed to.
Only one of Webster’s definitions of home seems right to me... one’s own country. My country is not of this world, so I feel like, as Paul and my grandmother, though it is needful for me to remain here in this earth for now, My heart is set on going home, so I can finally receive what I have so long been searching for.
Just a thinker thinking once again. God help me…Amen.

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