Home Again

There’s no place like home.

Dorothy Gale – The Wizard of Oz

How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart you begin to understand…there is no going back?

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
J. R. R. Tolkien

Yesterday I came home from a much-needed vacation in the north Georgia mountains. Everything was peaceful, calm, and green with perfect temperatures and a nice breeze. My sister and I ate what we wanted and did what we wanted. We put together a jigsaw puzzle, watched a few movies, listened to an audio book on a landing near the river, or just rocked on the porch while we listened to the river below and the birds in the trees. Then, we came home. I was glad to get back to my fur babies, but it is always a little surreal, like something is not quite right.

In 1994 I moved to Seoul, South Korea for almost two years as a missionary, teaching English at the WMU headquarters. When I went to Korea, I expected life to be different living in a foreign country, and I wasn’t disappointed. However, I was not prepared for the return home. Everything was the same but different. A tree that had been in front of my childhood home for probably a hundred years came down during a hurricane that made its way inland. My niece had grown so much from the toddler I remembered that I almost didn’t recognize her. The house was the same, but it didn’t feel quite right.

For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

Hebrews 13:14

The saying that you can’t go home again doesn’t mean you can’t physically go home; it means you can go but it will never be exactly the same because you have changed. My two years in Korea had changed me, matured me. For two years Seoul was my home, so returning to my childhood home was not the same anymore. It wasn’t bad, but it took several months to settle back into a routine. I understand what Frodo meant in the quotation above: there is no going back. But, that’s not a bad thing because we shouldn’t be going back; we should be moving forward.

For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

Philippians 3:20

When we become Christians, our citizenship changes. We are no longer of this world though we remain in it. Therefore, we will never really feel like we belong because we are looking forward to home inHeaven one day. When Frodo returned to the Shire, he knew he couldn’t stay. He stayed long enough to finish his last task, and then he journeyed on to the white shores. When we accept Christ as Lord, we should be looking toward Him and what He has for us to do. Then, once our assignments are complete, we will go home to our reward.

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

John 14:1-2

In the meantime, we have a purpose right where we are. Some days it is fighting fleas, and some days it is fighting giants. Most days it is somewhere in the middle. It is a journey down a road less taken, and you never know what will be around the next turn, but you know who walks beside you, and you know the journey’s end: Home. Like Dorothy said, “There is no place like home.”

Home is behind, the world ahead, And there are many paths to tread Through shadows to the edge of night, Until the stars are all alight. Then world behind and home ahead, We’ll wander back and home to bed. Mist and twilight, cloud and shade, Away shall fade! Away shall fade!

J. R. R. Tolkien

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