Sunday, March 9, 2014

Home Is Where You're Going

I have a quote posted on my desktop. It says,

​"Home is not a place; it's wherever your passion takes you."

It's a quote from President Sheridan from the sci-fi show Babylon 5. Sheridan is an earthie (a man born on Earth) but has spent years of his life living on a space station and is about to move to an alien planet with his [half-alien] wife. After all that, where can you say you belong?

Is home where he was born? Where his human relatives live? Where his wife is? Where he spends the most of his time?

In truth, all those questions are wrong. Home is not a place. It's not a place you can arrive at. Home is where you go. Home is a path. Home is a decision.

Christians are always quoting the verse about how, "this world is not your home." I think that means that the suffering and pain and mistakes and things that constitute your life right now are not your final state. You're not always going to be hounded by your past, unable to get things right, feeling the pain of others' choices, or caught in a feeling of incompleteness. The sufferings to our journey will have an end.

But that doesn't mean we should just wait around for the apocalypse. The homeward journey has begun now. Here. On earth.

Home is where you put your heart. While I wouldn't advise you to make your home out of things which won't satisfy, I also wouldn't advise you to build your home out of just waiting.

Usually when we talk about waiting, we mean passively sitting there. But I think the "waiting" Jesus was always talking about--waiting for our new bodies and the final celebration after being adopted God's family--isn't a passive waiting. It's an active waiting: a waiting that involves striving.

Striving is another bad word in Christendom. We believe that God takes us as we are; that we don't have to strive to be good enough. I wholeheartedly agree. But there are still other things worth striving for: feeding your neighbor, making a friend, unchaining the slave, adopting the orphan.

Waiting for home involves that kind of striving. On a path, you can't get to the end until you've trod the middle. Waiting for the end of the path involves walking towards it. You can't say you're waiting for the end unless you're doing something to bring about the end you're looking for.

The end I believe in involves slaves being freed and my heart learning to fly. My journey homeward thus involves setting people free and finding freedom for my own soul. It's the end I'm looking for, so I work to start bringing about that end by accomplishing it right now. God made me a co-partner; I get to help bring about the slam-bang finish to creation, the end of evil, the final act. I get to help draw back the curtain. Which is what I'm doing, right now, because I'm so excited for that final act.

This is home.

Right now, I am home. I am in the arms of Christ. I am seeing little bits of what the end of evil will bring when I see someone smile, hear an uplifting tune, or see someone set free. Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is here, not "there," wherever "there" would be. Contrary to the way you may view heaven, it's not "up there." The earth isn't going to be abandoned as a botched job. It's going to be renewed. Bodies aren't going to be abandoned; we get renewed bodies.

In other words, I'm already home. It's still turning into the home I'm waiting for: the Kingdom of Heaven is in progress, just like I am. There's still a lot wrong here--just like with me. But there are glimpses of home--glimpses of the home it's going to be. Think of it as a fixer-upper. It's cracked and broken, but we have the tools for remodeling--and the vision. By the end, it will truly be home.

Home is wherever your passion takes you, huh? My passion is Jesus. My passion is renewing the earth. My passion is writing fiction. My passion is to travel and meet new people and live in places where I'm uncomfortable. Which means that here in my office, this is home. And here in Virginia, thousands of miles from the people I love and the culture I'm familiar with, this is home. And here in the darkness where I and a thousand others yearn to be set free...this will become home, because the chains are going to break.

My home is every decision I make that brings the Kingdom of Heaven a little bit more into being. My home is this fixer-upper earth, and it becomes more home as we remodel.

Word count: 842.