Three years ago my parents moved from a lifetime of residing in southern California to central Kentucky. Their new town is home to Abe Lincoln’s birthplace and you can literally walk the downtown area in about 5 minutes. I just got home (California) from visiting them for the past six days and I only have one thing to say: Kentucky is not my home.
It’s not that Kentucky is all bad — it does have it’s moments. Louisville is a pretty good city, for example. They boast that they are the 16th largest in the Union, but what I love are the old brick buildings and the Ohio river that it sits against. Also, there is something to say for the American history that Kentucky holds. Everywhere you go you’ll find bronze signs with gold lettering telling you that you’ve just entered a historic city and then explain the significance. But that might also be it’s downfall. The reality is these cities were probably a lot more exciting in the mid 1800’s then they are today because I don’t think anyone has done anything to keep them up in the past hundred and fifty years. But that didn’t stop my parents from loading us up in the car they borrowed (or in Kentucky it could be pronounced “burred”) and lead us around every place that might have any significance, historical or not. The view from the back the car wasn’t always bad as the photo above portrays. The chances of seeing a tractor in your lane with a nice water tower in the skyline isn’t that likely in southern California, so I had to get a shot of it at least for posterity. Nevertheless we saw most of what Kentucky has to offer in a few car rides and it’s not something to write home about — which is why I figured blogging might be the option in my case.
California, at least for now, is home to my home. I say “home to my home” because even as I’m writing this I’m realizing that my home really consists of more than a location, bedroom, kitchen, or even fond memories. Bethany (my lovely wife) was telling me about a blog she read the other day that discussed this very topic. The writer, CJ Mahaney’s daughter, basically explains how she isn’t sad that her parents are moving out of the house she grew up in. She explains how her parents aren’t ones to live in the past and how really home is “where mom is.” As I grow older and continue to establish my own home with my wife, I agree with this sentiment completely and would further add some qualifications to it.
Home for me really consists of the following: where my wife is, where my church is, and where God is choosing to use me. To be without my wife (and I don’t mean to sound cliche) would be like a half-me walking around — it would be weird, gross, and pretty awkward for those around me. She is the one that God designed for me and the more we grow together, the clearer that becomes. Furthermore, to be without a local church would be devastating to my spiritual growth. To miss the teaching of God’s word, the fellowship of other believers, and the constant use of my spiritual gift would leave me misguided and spiritually bankrupt. The church is really an extended family. These are people that I trust my life with and people that I want to be around all the time. They are my friends, my mentors, my brothers and sisters, and my teachers. I want to learn from their experiences, rub shoulders with them, share my prayer requests with them, hold the battleground with them, sing with them, learn with them, share the Gospel alongside them, and learn to love Christ more with them. Finally, I want to have God use me where I am. I don’t want to be idle in my obedience to God. I want to do what he says and trust him for the results. It’s in these things that my home is really established. If my home only consisted of my bedroom, some framed photographs of times past, and some simple memories it would missing some very key elements of my life and wouldn’t be much of a home at all — it would be missing God’s plan and God’s people, and those are things I just can’t live without.