It is great to be back home again. I have been on a business trip to Sweden and while I love visiting Stockholm and Uppsala. However, there is something about being where I belong. I have taken trips with my family and having them join me during work trips is a blessing but we all agree that being home is “just feels right”. We have our routine at home (both when working, on breaks, and on the weekends). We have our favorite mugs, favorite chairs, favorite blankets (which I miss a ton when traveling), mountain views, even the smell of home is so comforting. It is a place that we have developed to fit our needs over the past 20+ years, through multiple moves the physical location changed, but the essence of “Home” has always remained.
What makes a house a home? Some say home is where the heart is, some say where family gather, where you are not judged for being who you are, where you can be your true self, where you are always loved and accepted. All good and interesting ideas on what is “home”. 1st Corinthians 6:16 speaks of the temple (which we recently explored together); in other translations it calls us the dwelling place of God, where He goes to rest, to be accepted, to be fully Himself. When I come home from a trip I am always blessed to come home, my daughter runs up to give me a big hug (even though she is 13 and often doesn’t want much to do with me). My bride has the house well in order and often a scented plug in going to make the house feel so welcoming. Things are put away, the house is in order and limited chaos greets me (at least for the first 5 minutes before “real life” sets in) but in those brief moments I get a glimpse of what God sees when we are fully surrendered to Him, His will forefront in our minds. We are doing everything we can, not out of duty or need but out of genuine love for our Father. How often do we focus on preparing our homes for company, cleaning up everything, dusting the knick-knacks that have not been touched since the last big gathering, washing the dogs, vacuuming the carpet so it has those nice straight lines/patterns to show we “always” keep our house looking like this? Folks know better, but I still do it. I am not sure why, we are friends, that is why they are coming over, how much better would it be if we took the extra time to just be with them vs. cleaning for 2 hours. Now that doesn’t mean I want to come visit a house that stinks or where the bathroom hasn’t been cleaned up in months, however some of the preparation we go through seems a bit extreme. Similar to how I often act with God. I say you can’t come in yet, I need to clean up my life, I have not been reading my Bible like I should, or praying like I should, or giving like I should. Whatever I think “I should” do to have right relationship doesn’t matter as much as the relationship. God wants to be in our homes, our lives. He could dwell anywhere He wants, and yet he chooses to dwell with us, in the midst of our crazy lives he finds His rest and His place of being. I pray that I stop striving to impress Him by how clean my life is (He already knows better) and start engaging more with Him. The cleaning up will naturally happen as we focus on Him and His goodness, but along that journey let us each strive to invite God home.