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?