If there is one place I like to be on a daily basis it’s my house. Some may refer to their house as home. For me, my home means more than just my house. I have a very nice house. It has two full kitchens, three full baths, hardwood floors, upgraded everything, a very beautiful deck on the 2nd level that affords a view of more than an acre of the most beautiful gardens and extended yard. But more…my house is home to my full and extended family, all who live together in peace and harmony. As I turn down my street headed home, my excitement grows as I pull into my driveway, or front yard depending on how many cars may have filled my usual parking spot in the driveway. As I climb the short stairway to my front door, I never know how many or if any of my family members will be there. At times, everyone is home. My wife, Sheila; my son, Troy; my two daughters, Lauren, and Lindsey; my son-in-law, Stephen; as well as my grandson, Jackson Thomas, recently arrived in this world as of September 14th, 2012. But there are those rare times when all of my family are absent. Most are usually at work or at play. Some maybe shopping or dining out as our daily lifestyle dictates. But home is where I love to be as much as possible. However, there are those times when I do not want to go home. Let me explain.
As nice as my house is and as wonderful as my home may be with regard to my family, we all have our struggles with all the various challenges people face from time to time. Financial challenges, sticky relationship events, bill collectors, weather concerns, and almost on a daily basis, how much room is left in our individual areas of the two refrigerators and pantry shelves. These are major life changing, global concerns for our family! Well, not really. As I mentioned before, ours is a peaceful family and we’ve learned how to get along with each other over the years. So how do seven different people manage to stay focused on peaceful living and mostly joyous days and nights? The answer is that God rules and reigns in our home. But that is the main reason why, at times, usually once a week, I just do not want to go home. The reason is based on a wonderful experience I have on a continuing basis. This experience happened again this past weekend.
The experience! Last Sunday morning I was sitting in the front row of the sanctuary in my church home, The Lighthouse Church of All Nations. Next to me was a good and true friend. Behind me were other close friends. My family was seated a few rows back having arrived on time but not early as is usually my habit when I have extended responsibilities. The choir was singing one of my favorite uptempo songs and they were “on”! The congregation was pumped, many standing and some even dancing in the aisles. One dear friend of my mine actually danced all across the front of the sanctuary directly in front of me. Oh, how I wanted to join her in that dance, my lack of dancing skills notwithstanding. Then, at the time for the sermon, nine different speakers each gave a three-minute testimony of what the Lord had recently done in their lives. I had met with this nine-member team for several weeks as their coach for content and timing for their speeches. I was so very proud of them. Then when my senior pastor, Dan Willis came up to close out the service, he was so complimentary of each speaker which, of course, was a small reflection of my efforts in helping them to make good use of his usual preaching time. It was at that point that I did not want to go home! Why? The surroundings were fantastic! The spiritual ambiance was simply electrifying! The Holy Spirit anointing was almost more than I could bare! Wonderful, amazing, heavenly, uplifting! Need I say more? I wanted to stay there…..forever!
The same thing happened to three men almost 2,000 years ago on a place called The Mount of Transfiguration in Luke, Chapter 9. Jesus took Peter, James, and John up on a mountain to pray. While there, Jesus suddenly became transfigured into His heavenly form and talked with Elijah and Moses about His soon coming death. When the meeting was over, Peter blurted out about building tabernacles in which to live on this mountain. He simply and understandably did not want to go home. I know the feeling. But they were suddenly enclosed in a cloud and heard the voice of God saying to listen to Jesus. So they did. They came down off the mountain and went about doing good.
Here’s the thing: no matter how great my experiences are “at church”, I must go home…eventually. Because home is where life makes up its mind. And as Andy Dufresne (actor Tim Robbins) said in the great redemption film, The Shawshank Redemption, “Get busy living or get busy dying.” There is no other choice in life. So I’m headed home to do just that. I’m very busy living! Living and directing my family members so that one day we can all go home….to my heavenly home which is currently being prepared for me by my Lord and Master. I hear it may be just about ready for us! We’ll have you over soon! Are YOU ready?