It’s late evening here in Williamsburg and we have finished dinner with the family, returned to Janet’s sister’s home for the evening and I just finished getting our boarding passes for the flight back home, through Charlotte, in the morning. I have enjoyed being here, as I always do, but to be sure, the older I get the more I realize that our lives are in Indiana – not Virginia or anywhere else in the world.
It seems that although I travel frequently for business, I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz – “there’s no place like home.” And while family is familiar and they are very easy to be around, I notice the little things that aren’t quite as convenient for me. Easy things – like I don’t know where the light switches are; or I feel guilty if I am thirsty and head to the refrigerator for something to drink. When I’m in someone else’s home, it accentuates being a little out of the norm. Now I really want to stress that I love the family out here – and I love the community. I have come to Williamsburg since I was 10 years old – it’s one of my favorite destinations in the country. And you know what – I could probably have lived here if I had moved here years ago.
It’s got that small town feel – the people are nice and, of course, it is just overflowing with history. One of the houses that Janet and I used to live in was even patterned after the Carter’s Grove Plantation home here in the area. It’s kind of like being on permanent vacation when we are here – and I still pass by the motel on Route 60 where our family stayed on our first trip out here back in 1964.
But Janet and I have our lives and our friends, and my work, back in Indiana. We’ve built a life there – the kids grew up in the local schools, five of our six grandchildren are in the area and Indiana has been a great place to raise our family. The heart of the midwest – family values, and all the other things one would want on a list of ideal circumstances.
Now I know that there are many of you who also think you live in the best place in the country – and I don’t doubt it for an instant. Each of us has certain criteria for the things that appeal to us and we fall into patterns. For Janet and me, it just seems to accentuate the things we have at home when we are on the road. Janet says that she is never disappointed to go home – ain’t it the truth!
The Bible talks about going home as well. Jesus is quite clear that heaven and earth are two very distinct places. He lets us know that He is from heaven and although He, and we, have spent significant years on earth, it’s kind of like visiting a foreign place. For we are in the world, but not of the world. In fact, Jesus lets us know that we have to be on guard when we are not in our own home. We are aliens – and subject to the things that are done in the places we are visiting. It’s kind of like being on a trip.
Like I said at the top of this post, as much as you may think that you love some place, there’s no place like home – and that’s what Jesus is trying to teach us. Home is heaven – and if you think you are comfortable on earth, wait until you arrive home. You won’t believe it! Because we will always have anxiety in a place that is not home to us. The verse for this evening outlines this point, and was spoken by Jesus to his followers. He tells us, in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
My encouragement this evening is that Jesus wants you to know that eventually you will go home to a place that is better than you can imagine. And He doesn’t want you to have anxiety or fear about where you are right now – because He wants His peace to flow over you. Furthermore, Jesus wants us to to know that He has overcome the troubles of this world and is now home. The same will happen for each of us. Jesus has overcome the world and so will we… My prayer is that you will enjoy your visit here on earth – but never think about trading it for the reality of a home that is better than you can ever imagine. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…