This summer I have had to dismiss the idea that June, July and August are the relatively lazy, easy going time of year. Rather than a slower pace and an empty calendar, the summer has been a blur of travel (for work and play) and special events—and all of it joyful! I have visited new places to see the sights and be in awe of nature. I have gone back to some old stomping ground to spend time with family in places I have long enjoyed. I have received wonderful hospitality from friends! As much as I like these adventures, I always look forward to coming home. In the midst of so much travel, I have done a lot of thinking and reading this summer and coming and going home.
In reading stories from scripture about folks coming and going, I revisited the story of Jacob’s Dream at Bethel, which I usually think of as the story of Jacob’s latter. Read it in Genesis 28:10-22 and you will find Jacob away from home, in the middle of nowhere, and waking up to the realization that “Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!” Jacob is wise to mark the place with a stone (and to cement his experience there in his memory). He called the place Bethel, meaning House of God.
I can get in the habit of thinking that I should hurry to the next place, the next project, the next need to which God is calling me. I have been known to get carried away with striving for the not-yet while missing the wonders of the present moment and current circumstances. How often do I miss God in this place, in the in-between times, even interrupting my sleep with a hopeful dream intended to remind me of God’s presence?
There is a very different story of homecoming in Luke 19:1-10. It is the story of Zacchaeus, who “was a wee little man, and a wee little man was he…” (Forgive me. Some of us have to sing the song at every mention of his name.) Zacchaeus wanted very much to see Jesus pass through his town. He even climbed a tree in an effort to catch a glimpse of this miracle worker! As it turned out, none of that was necessary because Jesus sought out Zacchaeus. Jesus invited himself for a meal and an overnight stay, and it changed Zacchaeus’ life forever! Jesus sums up their time together saying, “Today salvation has come to this house…”
This is the fourth time zone I have called home. Some of the places that I moved away from quite a few years ago are places I still call “home.” For me, home is a place where I am known, loved, and comfortable. I am blessed to have a house, a church (which is both a building and a people), and a community to call “home” in Kuna.
Whether you are still enjoying summer travel, settling in after a move, or staying put at home these days, may God’s words to Jacob be true for you also: “Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go” (Genesis 28:15a).
Matters of Faith is a weekly guest faith column. Send columns to: KMN Matters of Faith, 326 Ave. D, Kuna, ID 83634 or email Editor@KunaMelba.com.