Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 12, 2020
Your statutes have been my songs wherever I make my home. Psalm 119:54 (NRSV)
For reasons that elude me to this day, I have spent most of my life searching for home. Depending upon the season, I have often found myself battling a persistent wanderlust and restlessness in whatever place I call home. As I entered into adulthood, this was largely directed at my hometown, a place I wanted to leave as quickly as possible, shedding all affiliation and familial resemblance in the process. As such, for over a decade I wandered the globe, picking up jobs, degrees, and enough stories to last a lifetime, with my endlessly longsuffering wife and children along for the ride! Ironically, this past summer we purchased a home in the country, less than ten minutes from the church in which we were married fifteen years ago.
By every external indicator, we should be overwhelmingly content, settling into simple rhythms of daily life and the joys and sorrows that it brings. And, to be honest, this is largely the place we find ourselves in. However, deep within I continue to live with a small seed of restlessness, a curiosity about the future or fear of reaching the end of our adventures. It has also unearthed ways in which I am tempted to derive my own worth, or the value of my own story, from the places we call home.
Movement brings with it opportunity and adventure, yet it is also fraught with danger. In our longing for novelty or change, we as humans often fail to count the cost of distancing ourselves from cherished people and places. As Thomas à Kempis notes in his classic The Imitation of Christ, “Preference for other places and desire for change have unsettled many.” If you are always planning for the future, you will never know how to be rooted in the present.
In Psalm 119, the psalmist is clear on their source of peace and stability in life. It doesn’t come from an education, stamps on a passport, or the perceived desirability of their postal code. No, the “song” of their life is found simply in their identity as a child of God. They discover who they are by joining their voice to the eternal chorus of praise that surrounds the throne. How do we move forward and do the same? By walking in faithful obedience to God. By writing his statutes upon our hearts, rooting ourselves in the ancient rhythms of prayer, fasting, and faithful care for the poor. And as we do, I believe our questions of purpose and place will largely begin to resolve themselves, as our Lord teaches us what it means to truly be at home.
Father, wherever we find ourselves today, remind us afresh that you alone are our home and source of true and lasting peace, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Take time today to give thanks to God for the place you call home, fostering a heart of gratitude and thanksgiving.
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In our longing for novelty or change, we as humans often fail to count the cost of distancing ourselves from cherished people and places. #homesick #joy #WisdomHunters #truth #Jesus
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