Saturday, December 29, 2012


There's something in the air...

It's been an intense last few months.  And in the last month, I think I've logged only 8 full days at home.  I like to travel.  I like to try new things and different languages. I've met a ton of new people and really look forward to the upcoming year.  There's a myriad of new possibilities.  Who can sneeze at that?  My life continues to prove that with God, there are no slow moving boats... there's only massive roller coasters with high speeds and hair-raising drops and rises.  I'll never regret that.  EVER.  

However, I've come to understand something I never quite understood before. 

HOME... is a blessed place.

So, this is where the funny part comes... I've never been one to miss home.  As far back as I can remember, I've strained towards the beckoning of an open door to somewhere else.  Towards a plane that can take me anywhere.  A car that can keep driving and driving, so long as I keep the tank topped off.  I used to keep a go-away bag stowed in my car, just in case I got inspired to jet to places unknown.  I've always kept boxes stored in my closets in case my lease came up or some strange situation required me to pack things up and move on to another apartment, another home.  Maybe the landlord was selling the house and needed us to move out; or my roommate got this great opportunity and I'd be stuck scrambling to find someone in less than a couple of weeks; or have to pay off my lease and jump in with friends while I was looking for another place. I can pack things together in the blink of an eye... completely organized and with every last detail covered.  From birth, I've been traveling.  I was on my 1st plane ride and my first move at the age of 3 months.  Made my 2nd move at the age of 3.  My 3rd move at the age of 5.  To say I've been TRAINED to uproot myself... to explore, is an understatement.  

In truth, I've loved it.  I love the excitement of something new, fresh and invigorating.  I have all my little pockets and areas to store things.  I have my favorite travel towel, my favorite travel blanket, the perfect outfits for plane or car... you name it, I have the system and ritual down.  When I'm in the passenger seat, I have my books to read, lotions to keep my nose happy and snacks to keep my tongue and tummy happy.  I have every accoutrement necessary for a comfortable and relaxing ride.  I keep a map out so I can see exactly where I'm at in any given time.  I can navigate with the best of them thanks to my dad, who used to spend his time in the driver's seat instructing me on the fine points of map-reading.  He taught me to always know which direction I'm pointed (if I know the time and am charting the movement of the sun, it's pretty easy).  When I'm going somewhere new, I research the destination and all the points along the way.  Can you tell I can talk FOREVER about the joys of traveling and moving???

I've never quite understood when I would hear people say "I miss home."  In my mind I'd be thinking, "Are you nuts?  That's so boring!  Why would you want to go someplace you've already been?"

Fast forward to today.  
I've had a few epiphanies.  
They're all recently new.  

I'll say it again...
Home is a blessed place.

To say something or someone is blessed is a powerful statement.  It can mean all kinds of things to different people.  But it has an underlying definition that remains true, no matter who says it.  It means ... to be FILLED with joy.  FILLED With promise and its' ultimate end.  

Something I've discovered, is that it's difficult to experience deep seated joy when you're destabilized.  Promises need the soil of unconditional love in order to take root.  There's no way around that.  The purpose of home is to provide a safe and warm haven, from which you can tackle anything the world throws at you.  It's the place you come back to when you're weary of fighting the good fight and you're operating on fumes and your stamina is kicking out.  It's a place to actively grow and learn, because how can you truly live out dreams when there's no spot that they can grow from?  It's like a plant.  Plants don't grow very high or become strong when they're not well rooted.  Well watered.  Well cultivated.  They can't be filled with solid nutrients if I'm constantly pulling it out of the ground and re-planting it in a different spot.  Their growth gets stunted.  Their leaves look anemic.  How well the soil is prepared is also phenomenally important.  If I just throw something into the ground without breaking up the soil, without mixing in manure thus giving it an environment which can self-sustain itself... it may or may not take.  But if I take care of things properly, that baby plant will grow, become robust and in time fill out the entire place with its' life and fruits.

It's a bit like Advent.  Advent is a time of reminding us of where are true roots lie...  Our true home lies.  It lies in the arms of a child who carries the universe within his being.  In that place all fruit begins.  Praying and living by the Gospel waters, feeds and nurtures our souls for our (hopefully) eternal residence.

Dear Lord Jesus, collect us and carry us Home!

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