there’s no place like home.

I read an interesting statement in a book the other day that talked about how, as Believers, we started our life journey at home, were then “deported” to a foreign land, and subsequently have been spending our days trying to navigate our way back to that glorious starting place.  At first, this made me a little peeved.  Why couldn’t we just stay in that beautiful, perfect, complete world?  Why do we have to traverse through a land that so often presents destruction, pain, loneliness, and deficiency?  And yet, the more I thought about it the more the beauty of this picture began to unfurl itself in my mind.

While I can be the most impatient person on the planet when it comes to certain things, I also LOVE anticipation.  I relish the days before a big trip, an exciting event, or my favorite Holidays.  It drives my sister absolutely batty when I get a package in the mail and wait sometimes days to open it.  Anticipation engages my senses and sends sparks of excitement shooting through my veins.  But there’s something more that anticipation does…it communicates meaning.  I never put off opening the box that delivers my monthly supply of contacts ~ there’s nothing special about that package.  And I certainly don’t get giddy the week leading up to my bi-annual dental exam.  But when those feelings of eagerness, tinged with a sense of urgency, spark I know that the anticipation has significant meaning.  Oftentimes what surround my strongest experiences of anticipation are events that involve my community.  God created humankind to be relational and for me those moments that involve what I call “my closests” are momentary glimpses of home.

There’s something else that occurs during my anticipation of something, particularly something extraordinary ~ an attitude of determination (sometimes labeled stubbornness).  I will mount obstacles, forge valleys, and fend off distractions in order to reach that moment of ahhhhh….  And that journey creates a profound experience of appreciation because the outcome takes on much greater meaning when it is challenging to arrive at.  I take appreciation for granted frequently.  I don’t think it’s something I naturally focus on.  But taking a moment to do so brings abundant value to the actions that summon my sense of appreciation.  I realize those actions represent a fervent, deep, emotional drive that communicates this intense element of care.

And that’s the beautiful, complicated picture that developed as I thought about my fight to return home.  Without the journey I wouldn’t experience the anticipation.  Without the anticipation I could never begin to comprehend the significance of my destination. Grasping an understanding of that significance ignites the driving force of determination. And that sense of purpose and resolve makes the final outcome such a sweet and priceless gift that it will generate an infinite expression of appreciation not only for the gift itself, but for our own passion and persistence in conquering the journey and for God’s grace in fighting along side us each and every step of the way.

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