“Been there done that; ain’t looking back.” “Who says you can’t go home?” are the lyrics to one of my favorite Bon Jovi songs. In this song, he sings about traveling, going out to find fame and fortune. Yet, through all of his travels and seeing the world, he knows within in his heart his true home. He encourages those to take home with them no matter where life takes you. Home is in the heart.
Remember Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz? She is lost in Oz and wants to desperately get back home. After many trials and paths, the good witch tells her that all she has to do is click her ruby-red slippers together and say; there is no place like home“ and she would be home. Dorothy awakes and sees that she is home among loved ones.
We have all been where these two people have been. Most young adults are ready to leave home when they become of age. They are ready to move on to their next chapter in life whether it is going to college and eventually starting a new career, or just simply moving out on their on and starting a new job. No matter the situation, they are looking for excitement, some looking for fame, and making that fortune. Yet, it sometimes doesn’t take long for the real world to humble them.
Once a humbling experience takes place, some are afraid to go home out of embarrassment. Others are afraid to go home because they know they will get that finger in the face; “I told you so.” Then, there are those where bridges were burned with home and they can’t or don’t know how they could ever go back home.
When Jim and I were raising our son, Drew, we were conscientious that we needed to keep a safe and loving environment for him. We wanted home and still want a home that no matter the reason Drew knew he could come home. In the midst of his growing up, Jim and I read a book by Gary Smalley and John Trent called, Leaving the Light On. In other words, these authors were sharing how you want to leave that porch light burning where your children always felt like they could come home. They also explained about the ways and things that could be done that could extinguish that porch light fast.
Jim and Drew finishing up dinner at Bubba Gumps in Charleston, SC May, 2009
No matter the situation that arises with Drew, Jim and I, we need to continue to keep that safe and loving environment for Drew and now for his wife, Megan. We want our home to be a place where they know they can come to celebrate achievements, where they can vent frustrations, and if they need to cry, there are shoulders and arms for them fall into and simply be held and loved.
We all know the story of the parable of the Lost Son in Luke 15:13. Remember, this man had two sons. One of the sons wanted his inheritance right then and there. He declared he was ready to go out into the world to make his fortune and to claim his fame. Yet, as time went by, he found himself broke and hard on his luck. I love what verse 17 says; “But when he came to himself, he said; ‘many of my father’s hired servants have enough bread and to spare, and I perish with hunger!’ “The scripture goes on to tell us how he plans to approach his father and ask for forgiveness. He planned to work for his father as a servant. Yet, when his father saw him coming, he flew his arms opened wide and welcomed him home. The father instructed to have the finest robe placed around his son, a ring placed on his finger and the fatted calf to be killed. In other words, the father planned a big welcome home party for him. Don’t you just love what verse 31 to the end says? “And, he said to him, ‘Son you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and now is found.’ ”
Are you like the songwriter and know that no matter how far you go and no matter what you do you can always go home? No matter where you go, do you take home in your heart? And, do you realize just as the songwriter says that what has been done is in the past? No matter what, he keeps his eyes on home?
Or, maybe you are like Dorothy. Walking around lost and trying to find your way back home. You so wish you could click your heals together and just be home. You long to be wrapped up in that favorite quilt that you would wrap up in as a kid. Or, you yearn for the smells of that favorite meal your mom would make for you.
You may be like the lost son. You declared your freedom and left home. Maybe you left home on very shaky ground and bad terms with your family. There could have been words spoken that are now regretted. You are sitting in despair trying to figure out how you could go home and what you would do when you got there. There is the fear of the finger in the face; ” I told you so.”
Are you a parent whose child/children have left the nest. Maybe they have left with your blessings and they know they can come home anytime. Or, could your child/children be wondering around lost. They don’t know where they are and you certainly don’t know where they are at this moment. Did the light on the porch get extinguish out of anger and words that were spoken?
The reality of our world today is that there are people in all of these situations. They are longing for home. Home in the physical sense and home in the spiritual and emotional sense. These people long for the favorite blanket wrapped around them, the smells of home and the warmth of a loving embrace. Yet, they feel as there is no hope just as the lost son had felt in his heart.
Hear the lyrics that I opened with one more time; “been there done that; I ain’t looking back. “Who says you can’t go home?” I love those lyrics. The reason I love these lyrics is because there is a home we all can go to and go back to if we ever leave/stray. The home is our home with the Father. We can stray, do unimaginable things, deny Him and his home. Yet, He stands there and waits for our return. In our returning to Him, God opens His arms wide and says; “Welcome Home!” All we have to do is tell Him that we want to be home again. We must allow God back into our hearts and ask for His loving grace and forgiveness. Then, as we return home to the arms of the Father, we must know we don’t need to look back on where we have been or what we have done. But, we move forward with lessons learned and allow Jesus Christ to walk beside us on our journey ahead.
Just like the song, we can also carry home in our hearts. When we come home to Christ, home is in our hearts no matter where we go and no matter what we do. Then, there will be a day when we will physically be greeted by Christ and the Father. They will be standing there with arms opened wide ready to great us into our eternal home. The finest of finest robes will be placed among us. WOW!
My challenge for today is that if you feel as though you have failed and failed the Father, know that there is no failing in the Father’s eyes. He will use your experiences to mold you more into His likeness. Just simply get on your knees and bow to the Father asking for forgiveness and be ready to be home again. After all, “Who says you can’t go home?”
I’m April sharing God’s message and reminding you that God is leaving the light on for you.
- Keys of Inheritance (intimatelifelesson-reallove.com)
- “Here I raise mine Ebenezer” (sunlightandrainbows.wordpress.com)