Wayfaring Stranger

“So, are you ready to go home?

Someone alway asks this question, or else “Which place feels more like home to you?” In either case I am never quite sure how to answer. Is the person asking just trying to make small talk or do they really want me to take a deep dive, exploring with them all of the intricate and interconnected lines of thought that surround such a question? Beyond that, I’m not even sure I have an answer to the question myself!

Do I enjoy being stateside? Yes.

Do I miss my regular overseas life? Yes.

Does meaning stateside feel like home? Yes.

Does being in Asia feel like home? Yes.

Think about it—there is nothing even remotely comparable to a Texas Roadhouse or Olive Garden in the city where we live. On the other hand, I find myself wanting to add chili peppers to just about everything I eat when I’m in the States.

Do I miss being stateside when I’m overseas? Yes.

Do I miss being overseas when I am stateside? Yes.

Do I feel out of place in the States? Yes.

Do I feel out of place when overseas? Yes.

“Are you ready to go…or do you wish you could stay longer?”

Yes….and yes.

An old song sung by both Johnny Cash and Andy Griffith begins with “I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger, traveling through this world below…” I’ve asked myself many times why I never quite feel at home. Johnny and Andy, along with Paul when he wrote to the Philippians, remind me that “our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,…” (3:20). Could it be the “home” is neither in the States nor overseas? Could it be that being comfortable, stable, and settled really isn’t the goal for which we ought to strive.

My passport calls me an American. Most of my days are lived outside of the U.S. But could it be that my most important citizenship and the place where I ought to reside everyday, no matter where my GPS tells me I am located, is somewhere else completely?

Do I strive to live everyday in God’s kingdom? Or my kingdom?

That is the question of the Christian life — Whose kingdom comes first?

Too often, I fear, my personal kingdom—my hopes, my comfort, my dreams, my ambitions—try to push me in the direction of me. Lord, keep wooing me toward You…help me to continue learning how to seek out your kingdom first.

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Before entering the country where we serve, we had to stop in a neighboring country to process our visa application. Deep in the recessed of jet lag brought on my a 13 hour time different and a toddler having difficulty sleeping, we walked along silently along the boardwalk. This country was not home, either, and it was less home that either of our other homes. As we slowly rounded a corner the sun came into view, sitting on the distance horizon of the sea. Sunbeams shot up through the clouds, visible in the dusk of the evening for as far as the eye could see.

This is not your home.

The place you just left is not your home.

The place to which you are going is not your home.

I am your home.

Look to me.

Find your hope in me.

Find your rest in me.

Find your comfort in me.

Find your peace in me.