“So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.” 2 Corinthians 5:6-9
There is nothing like a good vacation to make you want to go home.
My family and I have just returned from a vacation to the east coast of the United States. We spent two weeks continuously touring sites from New York through Virginia. Our heads are still spinning comprehending all we saw and the soles of our feet still aching from the miles trekked.
Every day, our vacation produced fascination and enjoyment as we explored places I had only known in books.
We saw the birthplace of English North American colonization at Jamestown.
We walked the streets of colonial Williamsburg, the capital of colonial Virginia.
We visited George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon.
We visited Thomas Jefferson’s home at Monticello.
We walk the first halls of power at Independence Hall
We were guided through the modern halls of power at the US Congress…
…and the Supreme Court
We joined a prayer walk for Pastor Saeed in front of the White House.
We contemplated the cost of freedom at the Lincoln…
…WWII, Korean, and Vietnam memorials
We were overwhelmed by the collections of the Smithsonian…
We pondered the destruction of the civil war at the flashpoint of Harper’s Ferry.
We were assaulted by New York City’s time square.
We applauded the talent displayed on Broadway (The Lion King).
We wept the loss captured at the 911 Memorial.
We drank in the hope promised by the Statue of Liberty.
Our east coast conceptions crumbled under the landscapes of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey.
We had a fabulously full vacation. Yet, the allure of home was universally felt as our vacation drew to a close. A desire for the familiar overwhelmed our affection for continued exploration. We had toured for two weeks through a land that was not our own. We created memories that will last our lifetime and enhanced a love for home.
A desire for home may be the greatest fruit of our east coast vacation.
I am reminded of a quote by C.S. Lewis:
I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death.
Most of us have lives filled with wonderful busyness. We have so many blessings to experience and enjoy; so many opportunities to explore and fulfill. I assert that the average person in North America and Europe are living what historically would be a life of wonderful vacation. Yet, there runs through our culture dissatisfaction with this prosperity. We live fabulously full lives. Yet, there is an allure felt by most for something more.
It is the call of our true country. It is the unsatiated desire for our heavenly home. A home we were created for.
A desire for our heavenly home may be the greatest fruit of the dissatisfied prosperous. We need to redeem our incessant dissatisfaction with the wonderful and amazing. Rather than letting dissatisfaction turn to contempt or thanklessness, we need to be reminded that our tendency is to look to earthly pleasures to satisfy something that they were never created to fulfill.
The blessings of this earth are “only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage” to enhance our love for our heavenly home and Father. Our longing for something more is the reminder that we are not home. A reminder that should give us courage and direct our efforts toward pleasing our Lord and Savior who has created for us an everlasting home with Him.
PRAYER: Father, thank you for the blessing of a wonderful vacation. Thank you for the opportunity to travel with my family and see so many wonderful sites. Thank you for my home. Thank you for the reminder that you have created for me an everlasting home with you. Forgive me for being dissatisfied in the earthly blessings you have given me. Forgive me for forgetting that this is not my home. Create in me a desire for my true country with you. Help me to be of good courage and to desire to please you in all that I do. I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen