“The word longing comes from the same root as the word long in the sense of length in either time or space and also the word belong, so that in its full richness to long suggests to yearn for a long time for something that is a long way off and something that we feel we belong to and that belongs to us. The longing for home is so universal a form of longing that there is even a special word for it, which is of course homesickness.”~Frederick Buechner (The Longing for Home: Reflections at Midlife)
Vacations are worth the effort even if they cost a pretty penny, but home is priceless. Our daughter and grandson headed east some time ago for a mother and son getaway to the Big Apple, armed with a jam-packed itinerary and prepared to brave the crowded city. They came back with a myriad of photos and stories of metropolitan adventure, but were admittedly relieved to return home. I understand. My wife and went on our own vacation about the same time of year. Whereas they headed east, we went west for our respite, taking in the grandeur of the south rim of the Grand Canyon, the iconic red rock formations of Sedona, and seemingly endless array of Sonoran cacti. Vacation was all we hoped it would be (all of ours are), but I confess that having home to return to is what makes every journey enjoyable. Home is the greatest adventure of all.
Today’s trials threaten to steal my hope and confidence that all of this makes sense somehow. Hopelessness is a strain of spiritual amnesia; I lose sight of whose I am and where I’m headed. God never induces a comatose existence, leaving me numb and disconnected from the moment; while not always removing or resolving my strife, grace reminds that this momentary struggle is part of a journey that leads back home. One of the prized books on my shelf is entitled, “No Picnic On Mount Kenya,” and it describes the ordeal of Italian prisoners of war who escaped and climbed their way to freedom over Africa’s tallest peaks. Today may not resemble a picnic in any shape, form, or fashion, but the beauty of it is that our Father is helping us over the rocks on our way back home.