Feeling at Home
I've been away at school, and now school seems more like home than home. I'm having a hard time adjusting to being home again. Any thoughts?
The best way to help yourself adjust is to get a clear concept of home. Often, when we say "home," we're talking aboust a physical location. But home is also a state of thought, being, or consciousness. We can feel at home in other people's homes, in the mountains, in a parent's arms, etc. So wherever we go, we can be at home. The question is, "How?"
What qualities make us feel at home? Love, happiness, harmony, fun, laughter, playfulness, support, generosity, friendship, security, protection. One of the best ways to feel such qualities is to express them – to be loving, harmonious, fun, and supportive. When we realize that God gives us all these qualities, it's easy to feel them. God comforts us like a mother, protects us like a father, and provides a home for us.
I've always loved what Jesus told his disciples: "In my Father's house are many mansions…. I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2 KJV). Isn't that cool? God has a mansion for us – a great big home.
Jesus also says that "the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21 KJV). So the kingdom of harmony, happiness, health, joy, home is within us. Happiness, harmony, and home don't leave us when we travel.
Abram (later named Abraham) discovered this truth. God told him to leave his home (all his relatives, his father's place, his culture) and go to a place that God would show him (Gen 12:1). Abram left and followed God. Abraham never owned land on which to build a home. The only land he owned was a plot he bought for the burial of his wife, Sarah (Gen 23). But he never lacked anything. God took care of all his needs and helped Abraham have a more expansive, even a more spiritual, concept of home.
The psalmists understood how wonderful it is to live in God's house: "As the sparrow finds herself a home and the swallow her nest, where she lays her young, [so my resting-place is] by your altars … my king and my God" (Ps 84:3 CJB). The psalmist continues, "Happy are those who dwell in thy house" (84:4 NEB). The end of the 23rd Psalm reads: "Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever. (23:6 NLT)
It's helpful to think of living in God's house wherever we are. If we're swimming, we're in God's house. If we're at school or home, at camp or work, we're still in God's home. We're at home in God, and God is with us wherever we are. So a beautiful concept of home can be, and is, always with us.