House or Home?
Janet and I are coming up on our 42nd anniversary in August and we have been trying to put together a trip for the occasion. We have thought about a river cruise in the Pacific northwest, or possibly a trip to Canada to see several of the resort towns we have always wanted to go to. Maybe even a trip to Banff, with a day or two on Lake Louise after that. Janet has always wanted me to see Rome the way she did many years ago with her friend Sue, as I have barely touched the outskirts of this famous city and have always wanted to see St. Peter’s and all the splendor of the Vatican.
Venice is another place we would like to visit and I even have a desire to take Janet to southern Germany where I spent a summer working between high school and my freshman year at college. So we aren’t short on ideas but you know what? None of those places really interests us right now. It’s kind of odd – it’s been a long year so far – with Kristin’s health concerns and the tremendous amount of work I am busy with. And neither of us is really up for trying something new – we would rather go somewhere we already have history – familiarity – where we are treated like family, you know – like being home. So… it looks like it is back to the Greenbrier, our favorite holiday place in the US.
But it doesn’t stop with where we want to travel – to a large degree it also has to do with where we want to live. For years now, we have thought about living on a large body of water – somewhere we can have a dock with a boat, as well as all the other things that lake living brings to the picture. We have even given some thought to having a small second home – a summer place, if you will. I remember how much I loved my uncle and aunt’s home in northern Wisconsin and even though we haven’t been north in years, I still remember all the wonderful times we had in that area of the country. I even have a muskie mounted above the downstairs fireplace that I caught with a dear family friend more than 20 years ago near Rhinelander, WI. And while I wouldn’t mount anything these days (I am strictly a catch and release guy) I still cherish the memories of the past trips north.
So every once on a while I get the bug to buy a second home – and we go out and scout areas that may be appropriate for us. Today was one of those days… We jumped in the car with Lexie, our Doberman, and headed north from our home in Carmel. We went through a number of towns that we have visited in the past and even went to places we have never seen. We went past several lakes with property and even stopped past an old town with a cemetery where one of Janet’s grandmothers and great-grandmothers are supposedly interred. But once again, nothing struck us today – nothing at all.
It seems that whenever we return home, we just can’t see adding another property. Because in the ultimate analysis, we just don’t think we could like anything as much as what we already have. Sometimes, I wonder how many of us feel the same way about our places here on earth. We are told that we are in the world, but if we believe in Jesus we are not of this world. And we know that when we die, we are taken “home” to be with the Lord. So I guess that we should say that we have a house here on earth, but we are home when we enter heaven. And that’s a big difference in the way we think. We get stuck clinging to the things that we have here, yet “home” is a place that is totally unfamiliar to us. How can that be?
Because home is where the heart is and as Christians our hearts are to be focused on Jesus. Our verse for this evening is from Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. We are told, in 2 Cor. 5:6-9, “Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.”
My encouragement tonight is that God is waiting for us “at home.” And that means that whatever we do here, and wherever we live here, it is a temporary situation. My prayer is that you will focus on the benefits of finally being at home with the Lord. In the meantime, make everything you can count for something during your time on this earth! Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…