Yes you read that correctly, and no I am not refering to a small Kansas town following a rather long adventure in a strange land but then again, maybe I am!!
Several years ago when I was 20 years old, I longed to leave the friendly surroundings of Lubbock Texas and see some other parts of the country. I knew that if I could just leave Lubbock in pursuit of my adventure, I would find true happiness away from what I had always known. Mac Davis had a hit song in the 70's called "Lubbock in My Rearview Mirror". Just as Mac thought happiness was far away from his roots, so too did I and thought the military would be the adventure I needed. I joined the US Navy and spent some time in San Diego, CA. Man it doesn't get any better than that does it? Ocean, sunshine, NO WIND what could be better!
After a number of months being in San Diego, I was eating in a restauraunt and was ready to place my order. When the waiter arrived I ordered my meal, and thought I would have a nice piece of cornbread with my meal (since I had not tasted cornbread since leaving Lubbock). Well the time of truth had arrived. I received my meal just as I had ordered, everything was fine EXCEPT for one thing. As I looked over my meal I noticed something out of place. Sitting right above my plate was a seperate plate with a biscuit on it. Well seeing that this could not be correct I motioned for the waiter to come over. As he arrived I told him there must be some kind of mistake for I have ordered cornbread with my meal. Without hesitation the waiter replied "There is no mistake, that's it on the seperate plate". I was shocked!!! It was through the receiving of a biscuit that I longed for Lubbock SO MUCH, that I knew I had left what I had been missing...MYSELF!!!
All the things that I had longed for ALL OF MY LIFE, I had left in a heap back on the windy plains of West Texas in a town called "Lubbock". It wasn't until I left and carried through with my adventure for freedom that I realized, home is where your heart is. I know that is an old saying but isn't it true? What do you feel like when you travel back to your hometown? Maybe it's a smell, maybe it's seeing that the old convenience store is still standing and you remember saving up your allowance and going to that store for candy or a softdrink. Whatever it is, NOTHING can take the place of those roots so I take you back to the title of this entry "There's NO PLACE like Home!"
There was another that came to this realazation. Even though it is was a parable (example) it still holds true. Remember the parable Jesus taught of the prodigal son? Here was a child that had everything a father could give. Warm bed, plenty of food, inheritance beyond what ANYONE could imagine however, for the child it wasn't enough. The son has to leave and spread his greedy wings to find that what he has always looked for, he already possessed. Upon the son realizing he had lost everything he decided the only place he could go was...back home. But could he? How would be be received?Surely his father would punish him for all of his greedy, selfish desires. And of course there would have to be the arms folded reception with the words "I told you so!" But as much as he dreaded to go through all of that, he knew that he had no choice and was truly sorry for the man he once was. But something happened upon his arrival, he was welcomed home with open arms. I can almost see the vision in my head. Don't you know that each day EVERYDAY the father looked out over the horizon, waiting for the day His son would return? Day after day goes by, and the son dosen't appear. Each day the father awakes he tells himself "Today is the day my son shall return home". What the father longed for was a joyous reunion with His son however, what the son dreaded was coming home with his tail between his legs wondering how much he would have to suffer for his actions.
What the son received was "Triumph" what he deserved was "Tragedy". How many of you can relate to this story? Not from a worldly sense but rather from the relationship sense you have with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Some of you reading this may not even have a relationship with Him for you believe there is NO PLACE for you in the Father's house. Your past or perhaps your current lifestyle/methods/actions prevent you from being saved. I want you to have this picture in your mind and NEVER forget it. Our Father is standing at the gate, looking out over the horizon looking not for just anybody, He is looking for YOU! Each day starts with Him saying "Today is the day my Son/Daughter will come home!" He stands with arms open wide, with the feast fit for a King. He is not angry with you, He is not standing at the gate with arms folded ready to say "Come crawling back to me will you?". He stands ready to embrace and welcome you home with the love only a Father can give. What each of us must do is evaluate/acknowledge/believe that there truly is "No Place Like Home!"