Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Not My Home

(submitted by Kerry Patton)
“All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:13-16
So, where are you from?
Maybe you are like me in that I have lived in a good number of Texas towns and cities.  Born in Abilene, across my 49 years, I’ve lived in Hawley, Tuscola, Sundown, Rochester, Amherst, O’Donnell, Wolfforth, Roscoe, Clyde, College Station, Eula, and Weatherford.  At different times over the last 21 years, I’ve lived in three separate homes here in Weatherford alone. 

I have occasion to drive past the former residences now and again and the familiarity is always strange.  They look just like they did when I lived in them…like I could pull right up in the driveway, walk in, and fix myself a glass of iced tea.  My belongings would be there, and so would my family.  But that isn’t true of course.  As I look at the home, say over on Case street, or Mockingbird lane, I realize that I was just a traveller through time there.  A pilgrim…and that abode was but a temporary residence. 

It’s a little humbling to realize the same is true about where we live now on Ellis Creek drive.  The house there is where I call home, and yet…I do realize that this too is only temporary.  How long will Laura and I reside there? Ten years? Twenty?  Is this house my final earthly dwelling or will there be others?  All that is truly certain is that I slept there last night and plan to be there tonight.  Right? Only the Lord knows the events that lay ahead.

Not Here…But There
The further I travel down the road of my Christian faith, there is a truth that becomes remarkably more and more clear.  This world is not my home.  Oh, it feels like home, to be sure.  It’s all I’ve ever known.  I know the feel of the wind and sun on my face.  I’ve come to know the sounds and smells and anticipate the seasons.  The fellowship of family and friends are familiar as we all move forward on this line of time…but this world is NOT where we belong!  It’s…well, it’s temporary.  We didn’t get this as children, but as adults, we know it all too clearly as we’ve felt the sting of family and friends…even pets as they’ve been here one day for us to love and share with, and then are absent from us the next.  This is home for only a little while…for a season.  And then the season is over.

If we stop reading there, it really can be a depressing consideration.  Nothing lasts forever.  Nothing we have, nothing we do, nothing we are…nothing.  It’s all temporary. 

But there IS an eternal element to us, isn’t there.  We were created beings of three parts: body, mind, and…SPIRIT.  And that last part…the spirit is eternal.  We have a soul that is the MOST important part.  It is for our soul that Jesus lived and died, and was resurrected.  He didn’t die for our homes or cars, or for our body.  He redeemed our souls…the eternal parts of us because he KNEW what we have to figure out and understand: This life is not the point. 

This world is not our home.  I’ve said it before: This life is to eternity what pregnancy is to this life.  It is the ‘making ready.’  What would pregnancy be if there was no birth, no life in this world? But there IS life in this world, which makes pregnancy only a prelude.  So also is this life to eternity.  Life without eternity is vain…empty of promise, only a meaningless ride on a celestial ball with sight, sound, and varied experiences…and then a meaningless death. 

But weave the Love of God into the picture and everything changes!  Factor in the cross of Calvary and the Resurrection of Jesus and the storyline is changed forever!  Realize that we are being fashioned into the image of our beautiful Savior and that soon…and very soon we will be with him.  In the mean time, we are to live as he lived; love as he loved; serve as he served, and live has meaning and purpose. 

Don’t get attached to this place friend.  We are just passing through.  It may be where we sleep tonight, but it isn’t really home…not…not really our home.  No, home is ahead.  Take pictures, love people, grow plants and cut the grass.  You’ll be here for a while.  But wait until you see what is coming.  Oh man!  It’s going to be amazing!


Almighty God, keep my eyes on the prize here.  This world is so beautiful and amazing, and this life an unspeakable gift.  Yet, you have placed us here only for a moment.  How amazing must heaven be?  Let me breathe deeply this life as I prepare for the life to come, and make me an example of your promise for that which is to come.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

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