There is something about a nomadic lifestyle that always had a certain appeal to me. My childhood dreams were full of exploration and imagination of a different life than my own. A life of adventure, wonder,excitement,an discover , like the Lord of the Rings or Narnia stories. Even now there is still a gleam of childlike fascination with adventure in my eyes. Sleeping in different places. Touching the walls of cities everywhere. Owning little but having a lot. Seeing the world and allowing my eyes to melt with wonder.
Growing up in a small town, like I did, there is little room for exploration other than my neighbor’s woods that my sister and I used to in. I remember we used to pack a bag, usually full of snacks and maybe a blanket, climb out of the window, and pretend to runaway. Off to a life we had no idea what it would consist of. Usually finding an empty spot in the woods and pretending to sleep there for the night. Yet, when we came home I faced a much different reality. I often felt trapped and bored. Tied down to places that I had already seen before, and a bed that I had slept in for far too long. I longed for adventure, for innovation, for creativity, and for growth. Life became stagnant and stable and so did I. When I got into college the vagabond dreams grew stronger and intensified. Being in a new environment at college satisfied me for a while, but my heart longed for something more. I became comfortable and I knew it that this is how I wanted to live. The lifestyle of a jumper. To live a life completely as the free spirit my heart so longed to be.
“A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it”. – George A. Moore
Yet, as my dreams of becoming completely independent and free grew stronger I began to pull away from home. Away from those who had invested so much time in my life, from those whose love for me knew no bounds. I pulled away from any deep connection because I longed to be free. I didn’t want to be tied down by a home. It wasn’t until recently that I understood that running away from home would not liberate me. The only thing that could truly make me feel free is living a life of freedom in Jesus Christ.
“Home is where you leave everything you love, and never question that is will be there when you return”. – Leo Christopher
The world home has warm and inviting connotation surrounding it. Even as someone who hopes to explore the world as much as I do it is necessary to eventually come back home. I don’t mean home as in a house covered in brick surrounded and a mailbox with daisies on it out front. Home is where you are surrounded by those you love, those who love you, and where you feel most comfortable.
I like to think of the story of the prodigal son in the bible. After years of seeking the pleasures of the world and forgetting the treasure his father’s house offered the son finally returned home. His father ran down to greet him and was delighted that his son finally came home.
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” Luke 15:11-32 (The Bible)
Now that I am on my own. A citizen of the world. I do not see my parents as often as I would like. But when I run home into their arms I feel that nothing this world throws at me could possibly hurt me. This is how I feel when I run into Jesus’s arms except I can run home to him whenever and wherever I am. I can only run home to my parents when I make the trek back to my hometown. I forget that my home is not a place. My home is wherever Jesus is, and I can be as close or as distant from home as I want to be.
Proverbs 24:3-4 “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”
One day I want to revel in the simplicity of a nomadic lifestyle. Complete freedom. But I will never forget to come home to my parents here on earth and my father in heaven. To run into their arms and thank them for the life they gave me. God is wherever you are. He is wherever I am. No matter how far we travel off the beaten path he will be there with us.
When I began to understand that Jesus is everywhere I began to see him everywhere. Deep conversations on airplanes with wise strangers, kindnesses of a restaurant employee, or mysteriously fitting schedules are all direct reflections of Jesus’s presence and his divine intervention. EVERYWHERE. There is so place I could run that his love wouldn’t find me. His miracles are far and wide.
Whatever plane, train, or car you hop into tomorrow know that you can always be comforted in knowing that God is your home. Remember that one day we will all be going home. To our heavenly home. And that is a home I am happy to be invited into.