The highway stretched out before me… I look to my left, and there is a pasture full of cows with their new fall calves. On my right, a paddock with a few head of horses lounging in the Kansas mid-morning sun. I crack my car window just a smidge. I take a deep breath as the air rushes in, tousling my hair. I turn to my faithful baby dog traveling companion in the passenger seat, smile and say “Justus… we are almost HOME!”
He just looks back at me, half quizzically, half exasperated, shooting me a glance that says “LET ME OUT OF THIS CAR… NOW.” See, we had been driving approximately 15 hours over a two-day span from Fort Benning, Georgia to Southeast Kansas. I hadn’t been home in over six months… but we were almost there!!
The last couple of days here in Kansas have been great. Being away from home that long really makes me appreciate all of the little things that make home HOME. Little things like listening to my teenaged brother (who, might I add, is ginormously tall, skinny and awkward now—hello puberty!) bicker with my Dad about appropriate doing of the farm chores. Or laughing hysterically at Justus as he meets a variety of new creatures, from the small pack of dogs that my parents own (three cow dogs, two coon dogs), to chickens, cattle and horses. Not to mention all the new smells that this puppy has never experienced before. Can you say sensory overload?
We can’t forget the thrill of going to our local Wal-Mart to get groceries, which resulted in a mini reunion/social experience involving conversations with two of my high school classmates, three parents of schoolmates, one of my brother’s teachers and one of our dear neighbors. Small world in Anderson County, Kansas. And believe it or not, I’ve missed it.
There are so many things that I now appreciate about being HOME, from gravel roads to coyotes howling to the November moon rising over the trees. But as I was reflecting on the rejuvenating experience that is a little quality home-time, I started to think about God… And how if this is great, how AWESOME is our final home gonna be?!?
Sometimes it’s hard to grasp the magnitude of being home with Jesus. We can only imagine what it is going to be like. But all I know is that if I get such a thrill from making Tutti Frutti jelly with Mama in the kitchen and lounging with a non-school book in comfy pants with my family in the living room, then heaven is going to ROCK.
When I first started this blog, one of the reasons (in addition to the biblical premise) that I called it “More Precious than Rubies” was that I was born and raised in Kansas. For Halloween, I was Dorothy, Brandon was the Scarecrow and Justus was Toto from the Wizard of Oz. And I was so excited for this trip HOME that I might have possibly kinda sorta packed my ruby slippers. Now that is “precious.”
We can all enjoy the time that we have on this earth, wherever God calls us to go from Kansas to Georgia to who-knows-where. But we can also look forward to eternity with Him! How remarkable is THAT?!?! Home with my friends/family is blessed… Home in Georgia with my beloved Brandon and puppy is wonderful… But someday, reunited, resting at HOME in Heaven? Now THAT is gonna be HOME SWEET HOME!
There’s no place like home,
“We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” --2 Corinthians 5:8