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  • Randy McKenzie

Longing for the Familiar

I am a traveler. I have been traveling for over 40 years. It is my job. I visit our customers, publishers, and authors. I mostly travel within the US and Canada but also have traveled overseas. Trains, planes, and automobiles have been a very big part of my life.

I been on bullet trains, commuter trains, large planes, small prop planes, and private jets. I have stayed in 5 star hotels and eaten at some of finest restaurants. I truly feel blessed with some of the experiences I have had in my career. I have visited beautiful serene places and bustling cities. The good ,the bad, and the ugly.

Traveling can be a blessing but also can be a curse at times. Late flights, noisy motels, heavy traffic, cold, hot, uncomfortable rooms, bad food, and more. I have slept in airports, in my car, eaten cold food, been stranded in a strange places, and been surrounded by unfriendly people.

The one common theme that runs through all this, whether you are in luxury or not, is a restless feeling, a feeling like you don't belong. A "longing" for the familiar.

It is a sensation you can't let go of. An uncomfortable vibe that this place is strange and different.You have a yearning, a drive to finish your work and to look forward to the day you get to go home.

To eat dinner with your family, no matter what is on the menu. To sit in your favorite chair. To sleep in your own bed. To be with the people who love and care for you. To be home, where you can relax, let your thoughts escape, chill, and be yourself. To be where you feel you belong.

I believe this sensitivity is a gift that God instills in all of us. This longing, this drive, this desire to be where you are loved, to get back to what you know, where you feel comfortable, to be you.

As a believer we know we are just sojourners here. Our earthly home and our church family are all we have for now.

I believe our home, our church, can be a little bit of Heaven on earth. It is our resting place, our energy center, where we can re-charge our batteries before we go out and face this world again.

This longing, this gift is God reminding us, that we really don't belong here, and that earth is not our true home.

It also helps to inspire us to do whatever we need to do to reach our final resting place, our true home -Heaven. If our earthy home can be a special place for us now, think of what our Heavenly home will be like.

Recently, my brother-in-law passed away. I hope he made it to Heaven. I prayed for him but I do not know for sure. I have known him since he was 15 years old. He died at 63. After Gwendolyn and I moved away from Kentucky, over 40 years ago, I only saw him once or twice a year on special occasions. I loved him.

The last time I saw him was about a year ago. I did share my testimony with him then. Not sure if it made an impact, but I knew he saw a change in me and I wanted to share with him what that change was. I am glad I did.

The one thing that struck me about his death was that he had just gotten home from work, said he did not feel well, collapsed, never to regain consciousness again. See my brother -in-law was a traveler like me. He made it home before he collapsed. I imagine, he was not feeling well, but this desire, this drive, this "longing for the familiar" helped him make it home. God's gift gave him the strength to make it home. To see his family one last time.

I pray that when my time comes, I will be with my family at home. But more importantly I pray, that God will guide me, direct my path, keep me focused on His truth, so that I will get to go to my true home -Heaven.

"Home where the streets are golden

Every chain is broken

Home where every fear is gone

I am in your arms

Where I belong


Chris Tomlin

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