Monday, August 01, 2011

Wanna Go Home?

Random emails of encouragement... written July 17th, 2001

So, sometimes I just want to go home. Have you ever felt that way? I don’t mean back to your apartment, though laying on the couch and watching The Queen Latifah Show while drinking chocolate milk would be nice. No, I mean real home. Home home.

I come from a small town... the big cities worries are a million miles away from Samson, where I'm from. Here in Birmingham, driving from home to work to church to home to Wal-Mart to Guthries to Food World to home and back again, I probably drive 50+ miles per day on average. Back in Samson? Three miles from the West city limit to the East city limit. I measured it with my odometer one day. My little town has two red lights... a Wal-Mart that could fit into Bruno's on 31 that is ten miles away in a nearby town... three gas stations... one video store... a graduating class of 45... life was so easy then.

And then, sometimes... I want to really go home. Life gets crazy. Maybe upsetting. Sometimes, not like I expected. How much easier would it be to be Home? Yes, I mean that Home. Up with the Father. Life will be so much easier there... you won't have to worry about hurts, pains, fears, worries, or any of that... won't it be nice? Well, there is something I would like to share with you today that, if you have felt or are feeling this way, may be of some encouragement.

Each week, I take a case of cds with me to work... some, like Jennifer Knapp, Watermark, Plumb, Alison Krauss, Dixie Chicks.... they stay with me every week. Some, like the Goo Goo Dolls, dcTalk, Jars of Clay, Sarah Brightman... they go into like a two week rotation in and out of my case. There are always about 10 spaces for cds that I haven't listened to in a long while, because with 320+ cds, I can't listen to everything on a regular basis. So, I try to pick out some cds I haven't heard in a long time. This week, I grabbed INXS, Sleepless in Seattle, Everybodyduck, Avalon, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Burlap to Cashmere, Amy Grant, WoW 97, Michael Bolton's Greatest and, finally, Steven Curtis Chapman's Greatest Hits.

(added note... so, obviously this was way before I ever got an iPod... I had to use a portable CD player at work, and clunky earphones that barely fit on my big head, or those back of the head earphones that made your ears hurt after a while, and the CD player was standard, and not one of those fancy pantsy non-skippy ones, which means in the car I had to set it on a towel or a shirt or something to insulate it so when I hit a bump in the road it didn't play the same line four times due to skipping and such, cause I was truly too broke to own much more than that... just thought I'd explain)

When Chapman released his greatest hits a few years ago, I went out and bought it immediately. I have great respect for his words, his life and his music. And the first song, a new recording on the album, is what caught my attention recently. I had actually written a completely different summary to "Not Home Yet" on Friday, but over the last few days, I decided to change my approach to it. When I think about it, what I had written on Friday was really just my words and what I thought... today's email is more God breathed and life-inspired.

Pop in the cd, and the very first track opens up with a three note melody that is almost haunting... as in, it sticks with you, it pierces you. Its this same melody that is repeated a few times before the words kick in... its almost a love letter from the author, originally God using Steven's hands, to us. Or, in this case, from me to you. It is intended for the strong Christian who is falling apart, for the weak Christian who can't seem to stand up, for the On-the-Outside-I-Look-Like-I-Got-My-Stuff-Together-But-Inside-Where-Only-God-Can-See-I-Am-In-Shambles Christian. It is a reminder that you, or I, aren't the only ones to feel this way... there are more. And it is a reminder to keep going. No matter how tough things get, keep going ahead. Keep journeying on. God has a plan, a place and a purpose for you, and if you are reading this, that means you woke up this morning, and as someone once said, "the fact we wake up in the morning means that God has something for us to do that day."

So, with that, I share with you the words that encouraged me yesterday, and hope that is gives you a lift, if you need one. : )

To all the travelers, Pilgrims longing for a home,
from one who walks with you on this journey called 'life's road' -
it's a long and winding road

From one who's seen the view and dreamt of staying on the mountains high
and one who's cried like you, wanting so much just to lay down and die
I offer this, we must remember this:

We are not Home yet...
Keep on looking ahead, let your heart not forget
We are not Home yet

So close your eyes with me
And hear the Father saying, "Welcome Home"
Let us find the strength in all His promises to carry on
He said, "I go prepare a place for you" so let us not forget

We are not home yet

I know there'll be a moment, I know there'll be a place
Where we will see our Savoir and fall in His embrace
So let us not grow weary or too content to stay
'Cause we are not Home yet
We are not Home yet let us journey on...

Hope to see you on the journey... and if I don’t see you, hope to see you at Home. :)

Journey'ing on...

The Summer of Blogging Day Fifty

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