Thursday, March 25, 2010

"I Ain't Home Yet"

As I wrap up a busy week today, a few thoughts are on my mind that are somewhat interrelated. I typically take Fridays off to take part in teaching our kids in homeschool and give my wife a little relief. Fridays and Saturdays are sort-of "on-call days" for me, in which I tie up loose ends, meditate on Sunday's message, and respond to needs as they arise, but primarily catch up on lost time with my family through the week. Monday nights, I usually have meetings, Tuesday nights I teach, Wednesday nights I have church, and Thursday nights I stay at the office late until the sermon is finished for Sunday. So that time with Donia and the kids on Fridays and Saturdays is precious and priceless. In a few moments I will leave the office and head home and as I do I am thinking about the words to a song I love.

In the song, "When I Go Home," the Benjy Davis Project sings about life on the road and the joy of coming home. Now, if your sensitivities are easily offended, you may want to bypass this song, because it contains one scatological vulgarity and some drug reference. But what shines through beyond the earthiness of those elements is the love and longing he has for a woman who's waiting for him at home. I get that! My ministry takes me far from home at times, and keeps me away from home more often. I love what I do, and thank God for the calling to serve Him with my life, but I also love being home with the three most precious people in the world to me. I can't tell you how incredible it feels to walk in the door and hear Donia say to the kids, "Daddy's home!" So I resonate with the words that this song repeats as a chorus:

No matter where I go
Baby I ain’t home yet ‘til you open up that door
I can smell you, I can tell you
That I love you even more
Than the last time that I kissed you
It’s been so long, girl, I’ve missed you
You’re the only place I go when I go home

When those words begin to flow through my iPod, I sing them loud, and I long for home. But today, I have also been studying 1 Peter 1:1-2, in which Peter describes the Christians to whom he is writing as "those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia." Though we don't live in those regions (unless by chance someone in Turkey is reading this blog), if we are believers in Jesus Christ, we are resident aliens, scattered here in this world. But it isn't home. Our citizenship is in a far better place. Paul says in Philippians 3:20 that our citizenship is in heaven. And that being so, there is no place here in this world that the Christian can truly call home. Some days the homesickness for our true Homeland stabs like a dagger! And so, as long as we are here, we aren't home, but we want to be. So if I could be a little bit of a mystic (which is highly uncharacteristic for me), and with apologies to the Benjy Davis Project, I will paraphrase my deepest homesick longings:

No matter where I go
Jesus I ain’t home yet ‘til You open up that door
There I will see You, and I will tell you
That I love you even more
Than the first time that I met You
It’s been so long, Lord, I've waited
You’re the only place I go when I go home.

That's all for now. I'm off to my favorite place on earth; that place here on earth that I call home, knowing that the joy I find there is just a foretaste of what awaits when I finally get to my real home.

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