Temporary Homes

Aug 26th 2011

I’m sitting in my hotel room — actually it’s not really mine, I’m just renting it — writing a blog-post on temporary homes.  Makes sense right?  From July 24th to August 28th, I will have spent 8 nights at home, and 27 nights away from home.  First it was a family vacation; last year we only had Sarah and Katy for two days, this year, a whole week!  Then I spent a week away working on my doctoral program in organic leadership development.  Then finishing out our summer vacation with a few days at my folks, a high-school-graduation-celebration trip with Jake, and taking Jake to college.

At the moment I’m on day 9 of 11 straight away from home.  It started on Wednesday the 17th.  I took part in Paul’s memorial service and then drove through the night to get to South Dakota.  It will end on Saturday night the 27th when we drive through the night to get home.  During the last 30+ days my “home” has been a mini-van, various hotels, and my folk’s house.

From Paul’s funeral to sleeping in a mini-van, to hotel rooms, to sleeping on the farm where I grew up, to helping Jake set up his dorm room — his “home” for the next 9 months or so — I’ve been thinking a bit about “home.”  For example I spent zero time decorating my mini-van home and didn’t once consider buying furniture for my hotel “home.”  We did do a bit more decorating and buying of stuff for the dorm room, but I noticed that most of the pictures are pictures of the family home, and most of the furniture was bought to last about a year.

So here’s what I’m pondering, “Where is home?”

The writer of Hebrews (Hebrews 11:13) indicated that one of the characteristics of the heroes of our faith is that they considered themselves foreigners and pilgrims just traveling through this world to their true home.  Peter challenges his friends (I Peter 1:17, 2:11) to live their lives as foreigners on the earth.  In other words, as the old hymn states, “this world is not my home, I’m just a passing through…”

So if I believed — in a way that affected my behavior — that this world is not my home, how would that affect the way I live my life?  How would it affect my spending habits?  How would it affect my priorities?  How would it affect my generosity?  How would it affect my sense of calling?  How would it affect my relationships?  You get the idea.

I do believe that heaven is my ultimate home.  I do believe that heaven is more real than this world, not less real.  I do believe that it’s not about puffy clouds, harps, and an eternal song-fest — the worship will be forever but not the singing!  I do believe that heaven will encompass the greatest life-adventure that any of us can even begin to imagine.

Meanwhile, our activities matter.  Our relationships matter even more.  And when we live with home in our hearts and the end in mind, this short preface to the true story will be even better than we imagined.

Oh yeah, for those who have no idea why I put the picture above in this post…next time.