It is Homecoming this weekend at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Thousands of alumni will make their way to Central Texas for the event. It seems odd to me that I am looking forward so much to this homecoming. The celebration is at a college that I did not attend. I’m not even Baptist, dadgummit (that is Baptist cursing). But my heart has become a part of the Baylor tradition. Why? I am the very proud father of two Baylor grads and the youngest is a senior-light at the school. He will graduate in December of 2008. I have invested time and more treasure than I care to think about in Baylor University.
It is a very special place for me. Each son has made relationships that have become my relationships. One found a wife there. All three have grown in wisdom and stature while attending the school. They have developed wonderful friendships and many of those friends have made our house their house on multiple occasions.
Why is this homecoming special for me despite my lack of a Baylor degree?
It is about relationships.
I look forward to Homecoming this weekend in Waco but as I get older I look forward to another Homecoming. A spate of sad events in the newspaper today reminded me again that I am merely a renter on this planet. I don’t really own a single thing that matters. When I am driving a rental car and hit a pothole my first reaction is always, “Oh well, it’s just a rent car.” That describes the attitude I am developing as I hit the potholes of life. I have lots of stuff here but that is all it is. Stuff. What really matters is my faith, my family and those relationships that make the drive on the dangerous and poorly maintained roads of life worthwhile.
Jesus talked about homecoming and He was not talking about Baylor. He talked about the big one. I am scheduled to attend that Homecoming someday and I am happy about that. Why? Looks like a good program is being planned.
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." (John 14)
You can’t find a room in Waco this week but I already have one for this Homecoming! How cool is that? I am not anxious to leave this earth but I do look forward to that homecoming someday. Why?
It is about relationships.
I have a daughter there. My saintly grandmother is there. My wonderful earthly father is there. My Mom recently went home to heaven. Joni and I have many dear friends who recently made the journey home. The list goes on and on. And I have a personal relationship with Jesus that makes me excited about the event.
I have a few investments here but I have unspeakable wealth and eternal investments there. We don’t think much about that in our culture do we? There is so much of the good life here that heaven seems obscure and maybe not even an upgrade. But we are not permanent residents here. Enjoy the journey. Invest in relationships. Realize we were created with a desire to know our Creator.
And get ready for Homecoming. It should be a blast!
Dave Burchett is an Emmy Award winning television sports director, author, and Christian speaker. He is the author of When Bad Christians Happen to Good People and Bring'em Back Alive: A Healing Plan for those Wounded by the Church. You can reply by linking through daveburchett.com.