The Far Country

Moving is, to put it mildly, a royal pain in the rear. You attempt to pack all your belongings, many of which fit in boxes and many of which don’t. You end up with tons of boxes, a bunch of furniture and a few awkward piles that you don’t know what to do with until they finally just get thrown on the moving truck and then unloaded into new awkward piles that may or may not be put away in the next several months.

You also realize how much stuff you actually have. How did this happen? We got rid of so much as we packed, and it still overwhelms. Do all our kids really need beds? Most of them still get excited about sleeping on the floor. Maybe we should make that permanent.

This is not meant to complain – in this case, moving means a bigger house with more room for the growing munchkins. (Growing up, not growing in number. That ship has sailed.) This is just the way the process works. Every stage seems impossible – you really think you might not make it through – until you reach the next impossible stage: finding a house, selling your house, packing, loading, unloading, unpacking.

And when you move in while you are still doing renovations, things get even hairier. You’re trying to only live in a few rooms, and nothing is in its right place. How am I supposed to know where your clean underwear is, kid? I don’t even know where the dirty ones are. I don’t know where food and silverware and last night’s homework are hiding. I don’t know where you’re supposed to put that Lego creation you somehow just made. No, the wi-fi is not working yet. The tv isn’t hooked up either. Don’t step in that paint can! I know you’re tired. I know you’re frustrated. Me too, kid, me too.

When every waking moment is harried and you don’t know where to turn and your baby is screaming and you can’t find the box with your pants (because you really should wear pants to work) and you’ve just snapped at your kids (again) because they happened to voice the same frustration you’re battling, it’s hard.

Being unsettled is, well, unsettling.

Maybe home is more important than we think it is. The normal, everyday grind of living can sometimes wear on us and make us tired and whiny. The truth is that this normal everydayness is our life, and we don’t realize it until we don’t have it. I just want to know where to set my keys when I walk in the door. I want to not have to dig through boxes to find a pan or the iron (still not located) or paper towels. I want to know where my kids’ toothbrushes are. I want to cook a regular dinner and sit around the table with my family. I want to be home.

God created us with a sense of belonging. When that need is not fulfilled, we struggle. I cannot wait until we are settled in this house – and right now, it’s just a house. It’s not our home yet, although I can see glimpses that it will be a wonderful place we will fill with memories and joy.

This world is not our home either, and while we can make a place here, something tells us it’s not quite right. There’s too much sin, too much pain, too much evil, too much mess. Deep down, we are unsettled because we are made for more. The far country beckons, a world that is beyond imagining and yet somehow closer and more real than we know. The longer we live, the more it calls to us. We are welcome there, if we come by faith in the One who left his eternal home for this world where he did not have a home.

While we wait, let’s make our homes on Earth full of light and love and hope so that those who visit them will feel the winds of heaven on their face and want to know more about the place where morning will gather forever as we gaze upon the King in his beauty.

Our family will get right on that – as soon as we find our light bulbs.