by Charles R. Swindoll
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We must have resembled a family of Gypsies or a scene from Grapes of Wrath as we rambled along the highway. Several layers of redwood forest dust mixed with pine tree sap covered our car. The cartop carrier was loaded with miscellaneous stuff, including a bike wrapped in a blanket flapping in the air, piled on top of several boxes of "family fun stuff." We were homeward bound and glad of it.
As most of the family dozed, I hummed a tune from John Denver's best album, the main line of which says, "Hey, it's good to be back home again. . . ." Truer words were never sung!
Lake Tahoe had been crystal clear and beautifully therapeutic. Ten days out under the stars beside an open fire is good for what ails ya . . . but coming home is better!
Why? Why would anyone prefer the maddening pace, the freeways, the smog, the crowds, loads of laundry, stacks of mail (especially unpaid bills), a desk piled with a backlog of office details? What is so magnetic about coming home to all that? Why is the appeal of the familiar so powerful that we're always anxious to return?
I really have no profound answer. But consider this . . .
Home represents our point of identity, our base of operations, our primary realm of responsibility. Home gives life its roots, its sense of purpose and direction. Even with the hammer blows of pressure, stress, and struggles, home is the anvil used of God to forge out character in the furnace of schedule and demand. We count on it over the long haul and thereby develop security, stability, and consistency.
For me, coming home has an added benefit. It means returning to ministry. It means accepting the most exciting challenge life offers . . . one with eternal dimensions and incredible proportions. It means facing every new dawn with total dependence, living literally on the raw edge of reality.
To me, that's not an optional existence . . . that's the only way to live.
We are invariably drawn to come back home not because of where it is but because of what it represents.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.