I’m A Really Comfortable Exile

original photo DVIDSHUB

There are some people who thrive on movement and going and traveling.

They love seeing new places and  taking road trips, and are always reading beat up copies of “Lonely Planet” books. If you go to their house they have travel knick-knacks everywhere – a rain stick from Africa, a miniature Eiffel Tower from France, a souvenir cup from Disney World, a shrunken head from Polynesia (only your weird friends have this).

That’s not me. I more of a “Homey Planet” kind of guy. My favorite thing to do is to relax at home with my family. When I’m gone from home for more than a couple of days I start to really want to get back home. When I lived in Gaithersburg, MD for a year, I desperately missed good ol’ Indiana, PA. I missed being able to take walks down Main St. (yes, we really do have a Main St.) I missed being able to actually see the stars at night. I missed being able to drive without being tempted to swear. I could very happily spend the rest of my days living in Indiana.

I can’t imagine being an exile in a foreign country. My heart is buried here in Indiana, PA. To be an exile in a foreign country would be painful. I would be constantly longing for home and thinking about home. I would be looking forward to the day when I could finally come home. I would never be comfortable as an exile.

The other day in my devotions I read 1 Peter 1:1, which says -

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles…

This verse disturbed me in a good way. The Bible says that I’m an exile. This world, in its present, fallen, crumbling, decaying, sick, twisted, perverted state, is not my final home. My home is with Jesus, in heaven (and then in the new heavens and new earth). I’m an exile here on earth. An alien. A foreigner.

The problem is, I’m a very comfortable exile. I’ve got my little hobbies (video games, writing, running, etc.), the shows that I like to watch with Jen (Heroes, Law & Order), and that one pair of sweatpants that I wear every chance I get. I like my life here, and truth be told, I don’t think about heaven too much. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I’m going there, and I’m sure it’s going to be fantastic (lots of coffee, no dogs), but it’s just not on my mind that much.

When I read 1 Peter 1:1 I stopped and prayed, “Lord, help live more like an exile. Help me not be so comfortable here. Help me long for heaven more.”

I’ve got to admit, I’m a little freaked out by that prayer. Because God loves me and is helping me be more like Christ, I’m sure he’s going to help me feel more like an exile, which will probably be uncomfortable. But I’m also glad that God convicted me, because I want to live for what matters. I want to live and long for my true home.

What about you? Do you ever find yourself getting too comfortable here?

  • http://speakingtothesoul.blogspot.com Nicole McLernon

    I needed to read this today. Thanks. I have been realizing I'm captivated by the world now when I used to be captivated by Jesus and seeing Him for all of the Long Tomorrow. I'm praying to be recaptivated by Him again.

  • http://adamranck.com Adam Ranck

    I easily find myself getting too comfortable on earth. Continually, I'm battling in my mind to either (1) entertain myself with something that's really fun and relaxing but has hardly any lasting value or (2) exhibit self-control and do something that invests in either me or someone else that will have lasting value. Doing fun, temporary things are ok, but I generally realize I never need help doing the fun temporary things, but rather in balancing them so I'm also doing lasting things for the Kingdom (which I know I should be doing more of anyway).

    And at least in my case, it's just "easier" (lazier and requires less work and mental power) to sit down and play a game or watch a show instead of the better. Maybe that's why Paul emphasized the need for self-control when he was talking to Titus in his letter.

  • Adam Jones

    I find myself struggling with the opposite sometimes. When my sin is very real to me or the world is overwhelming me, it can be easy for me to wish that God would just take me home. I need to be quicker to pray for patience, remember that our time here is temporary, and continue to seek God's grace and strength.

  • photini

    Do you ever find yourself getting too comfortable here?

    Absolutely!

    Long ago (over 30 years) we touched on this in a Sunday School lesson. I was feeling a little like an outsider at the time having just moved to a new place. I started praying then that God would never let me get comfortable so that I would always long for heaven.

    Then we moved to Panama. I was convinced that the only reason we had sand fleas there that bit at night was to distinguish it from heaven. And I guess that is when I stopped making that a regular prayer.

    I've reached a point in my life where I am thinking about the things I want to do before heaven. I want to finish a quilt for a child, I want to get the photos all in order for the kids, etc. Some of the things, I realize, anyone can do. But some of them only I can do. I've put those at the top of my list.

    I need to take it up this prayer daily again. To put all of the above in proper perspective. Who cares about photos in heaven? Thanks for the reminder.