Saturday, January 20, 2007

Home is where the rump rests

So who can tell me where that title of this post comes from?

I spent three and half weeks back in England. I had a wonderful time over Christmas with family and then two weeks of travelling the land catching up with friends and supporters which was again wonderful (accept for the day where I spent 6 hours on the hard shoulder of the M2). It was great to be able to spend time with my family over Christmas and just enjoy their company and be part of their day by day lives again (although I do have to confess that the sound track to High School musical is very much stuck in my head. But in my defense it does have some very catchy tunes!).

It was great to be able to thank people face to face for their support and also catch up with them face to face as great as skype and MSN are they are not the same as being in the same room. I am extremely grateful for peoples generosity from loaning me vehicles to me appearing and asking if I could use their toilet when driving long distances to letting me use their homes as a base. It was just great to be with people again. Before I left back in January 05 some people told me that relationships won't die just because I am on the other side of the world but I was worried that the practise may turn out to be different. After a year I can say that it really is okay which was a joy and a relief.

As for returning to New Zealand it was vastly different to when I flew out in January 06. It was relief to find that I was looking forward to returning to New Zealand. I am sure that this was in part due to confirming that relationships don't die but it was also due to the fact that I have a life in New Zealand now and do love it here.

But my understanding of home has changed. It has very little to do with places or geography. Thailand, NZ and the UK are all places that I am (to some degree) familiar with. But this time in Thailand I was in a place that I had not been before but it felt familiar as the people I know in Thailand were there. Where as the places I had been before felt strange because the people I associated with that place were no longer there. The same goes for the UK as on this visit I went to places that I had never been before but because I knew the people in each place I went to it felt familiar; like home.

I friend mentioned somewhere in his blog that here in earth is not our home but that heaven is (see Hebrews for more). One of things I have been thinking about over the past year is heaven. I think the bible describes heaven in tangible ways but for many of us it feels foreign, unreal and intangible at best we know it is going to be shiny. As a result we become more focused on life here and now which is not our real home. One of the books I read described heaven as "Eden plus" which is not saying that Eden was not good but the heaven will be like Eden in that we will be restored into the relationship with God we were made for but we will have even more than Adam and Eve because Jesus will be involved in a way that He wasn't before. I still have very much to learn and grasp about heaven but I have now realised how having our relationship with God fully restored will be part of what makes heaven a Christians' home.