Home Stretch

It’s Sunday evening and it’s been a good week-end. I can’t believe the number of things that we have accomplished around the house – loose ends that need to be completed. Miscellaneous projects in the garage and around the yard. Some furniture that we ordered for the deck was delivered yesterday as well. All in all, it was a week-end of tweaking things that were almost done but were finally able to be checked off the list. I even had a chance to preach in Tipton this morning – something that I get asked to do from time to time for a little church that we have visited occasionally for the past eight years.

To top it all off, I will spend much of the week in town – with a day trip to Dallas on Tuesday. Our son, Andrew, has spent the last several days starting to recover from thumb surgery and he hit the road today for a week in southern Indiana on business. How I remember those business trips that lasted for weeks at a time, with short breaks on the week-ends. They are brutal unless you are a real road warrior and like life away from home. Neither Andrew or I fall into that category. But we all do what we have to do to make ends meet and fill the requirements of the assignments we currently have.

Janet and I have been lucky in that throughout the years I have been home far more than I have been away. I would say that in the first 30 years of our marriage I don’t think we were apart more than 30 nights total in all those years. Then, there was a period of time when I spent more than 75 nights a year in Marriott hotels for several years; I did extensive training of teams in Cincinnati and other cities around the country. Other than one trip to Mexico, I was fortunate that I didn’t have to travel all over the globe as so many of my peers have had to do.

The same thing can be said about our home. I know people who have had to move every several years and we have been blessed that our move from Chicagoland to Carmel, IN back in 1982 was the only time we have had to pick up and move out of state. For almost 32 years, we have remained in the same community – and while we have occupied four different homes in that time, they have all been within a mile or two of each other – at the most. I guess you could say that Janet and I are both home bodies – we both believe that there is “no place like home” – to borrow a phrase from the Wizard of Oz. We have been very fortunate.

We have also had the same friends – and for most of that time we have attended the same church – the only thing that has really changed is my detour to seminary for a number of years that resulted in a better life for Janet and me as well as the rest of our family. And that led to a change in work/life balance and the things I do to speak into the lives of others in my professional life.

God is also a home body. I know that he is omnipresent (everywhere at once) but He is of the heavenly realm and that is the place that we will ultimately end up. Home – an eternal home. Theologians speak of the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven. While some people think they are interchangeable, I believe the Kingdom of God includes heaven as well as every other place in existence. But the Kingdom of Heaven is the place that God and the rest of the Trinity call home – the place we have been promised as well.

The verse for this evening is from the lips of Jesus, as recorded by the apostle John, in his gospel. We are told, in John 14:1-4, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 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. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” And where is Jesus going? Home – and to prepare a place for each of us with Him.

My encouragement this evening is that home is where the heart is and for those of us who are believers in Jesus, our hearts are with God. My prayer is that you will make the most of life on this earth and to make as many people as possible feel “at home.” After all, we’re all in this together. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

 
 
 
 

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