We all have heard that age-old saying, “You just can’t go home again.” But I personally beg to differ.
You see, home is home, whether it is current or past, whether it belongs to us or is borrowed, whether we are young or old. Home is not just a building. It is also a condition of the heart. It can be a happy place, where memories abound of love, joy, fun, and peace. It may be a place that we wish had been our home, such as a good friend’s home, a place we wanted to be rather than our own family’s house. But no matter what home is to us, we can go back for a visit, be it physically or only in our mind.
I visit my childhood home often. I travel 6 hours north, to another state. Sometimes I go there for family events, or to visit special friends. But sometimes I go simply to revisit my roots. When I think of my home, I only have good thoughts. I grew up in a Christian home, filled with love, joy, and comfort. It was a ‘safe place’, one I was always happy to return to. I know it was only wood and stone, but there was truly something special about it.
When I go to visit my hometown, I usually will take the time to drive through my old neighborhood. When I get to my house, I slow down, and drive by so that I can take in the house, the garage, and the yard. Memories flood my mind as I look at what was once mine. And then I begin the brief grieving process, you know, the one where I wish my family were all still alive, and could still claim that address. But then I smile, and remember that it is not really about the home at all. It is about the memories, the very special people who were in the home.
Our memories are tied up in the people in our lives. Family and friends alike have an impact on our lives as we grow up. The most special memories are the ones of my parents and my brothers. They are simple memories, quiet occasions, but all are very special, full of comfort and care. Examples include Daddy reading his paper in the evenings, after supper. My oldest younger brother would be in front of the TV, spread out on the floor, eyes glued to the black and white screen. My mom would be asking me to come and help do the dishes. While that was not a job I liked, I did enjoy the time spent with my mom, as we reviewed the events of the day and any plans for the next one as we washed and dried.
When we reminisce about our homes, and our growing up years, we do go home. We may not be there physically, but our hearts and minds and emotions can become so focused on home that we feel like we are there. And there is nothing inherently wrong with remembering. Memories are a very special gift from the Lord. They are like picture books in our minds, and they contain the people we knew and loved in the past, places that were special to us, and all the blessings that God brought our way. Even if our homes do not stir up good memories for us, we most certainly can remember how God has worked in our lives throughout those years, and how He is still working today.
Yes, we can go home again. While we should not stay there, we can praise God for the journey, for the memories, and for His faithfulness to travel along with us.
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep my word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.’ ” John 14:23 (NKJV)
What does going home again mean to you? Please share as a comment here!