There’s a particular song by Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) that I love called ‘Old City Bar’ and you can listen to it here. In that song, the child (an angel in disguise) tells the bartender about a child (a runaway girl) who’s trying to go home. The bartender asks how the ‘child’ knows this and the angel answers, “If one could be home, they’d be already there.” [For more on the story, listen to the entire album: Christmas Eve and Other Stories.]
The line, no matter how many times I’ve heard it, hits me deep and makes me think. We all ultimately have a desire to be home (vacations aside), but things take us from there. It may be responsibilities like work or grocery shopping, it may be anger or fear (from those leaving their homes for negative reasons), it may be visiting others, or it may be loss of a home. That desire for belonging and being home is deep and it comes from the fact that we don’t belong here. Our true Home is heaven and we are created with a desire to be with God, and so, in heaven. (Philippians 3:20)
The desire is so ingrained and so deep, that we scarcely notice it. Yet, we subconsciously fill that desire with things of this world. We constantly try to enhance our homes (totally guilty there!) and obsess over having all the comforts that make us feel good. Sometimes we have contentment, which is good, but contentment never comes with more things but with being happy with simplicity. Our true desires are for God and those who realize this are more likely to be satisfied and their satisfaction will last.
As for being home, only the Father knows our day and all its circumstances. For now, home means feeling belonging and security. The runaway in the story realized there was nowhere else for her and her security all but disappeared when she left her home. The angel has a profound point: if we could be home, we would be there. No one desires to be away from love and belonging and safety. A reason may take us from it, but we truly desire it, to be home.
As we turn to 2022 in a few days, let us pray for those far from home and safety physically, and also for those away from home mentally and spiritually. May God help them find their way and may He help mold their way to His Way.