Why Does Leaving Home Feel Weird?

I struggle with leaving places…social events, get togethers, etc.  Once I almost even ‘lingered’ (gasp). This is true when I go home… an event that happens less and less as I get older, which can explain why it gets harder to leave.  I enjoy staying more and more.

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The feeling wasn't any different this past Christmas. I wandered around my closet, seeing what goodies I could find from way back when... Some sports memorabilia, random signs I had 'borrowed' back when I was cool, funny pictures, and odd notes and letters I've received over the years.

The older I get, the weirder it feels going home and the more normal it feels to leave. Leaving, for me at least, provokes a cascade of emotions and thoughts.  Natural nostalgia and reminiscing of the good ol’ days commences.

Then a wave of fear comes and splashes these thoughts away… forcing me to wonder if I’m heading the right direction in life.  Have I wasted these precious years? Where have they gone... and why so quickly? The waves break and sins come to mind… regret creeps in.  My failures.  Uncertainties swooping around like seagulls diving for wheat thins in the sand.

Finally, a cloud of peace hovers… telling me to be still and trust Him with everywhere that I am in life (Ps. 46:10)  My imperfections. My thousands of wrong choices and selfish desires.  All of them, every single lust or inconsiderate jab, nailed to the cross as Christ took on our sin for us and cancelled the record of our debt (2 Cor 5:21, Col 2:14).

As I drove back to my new home last week through dreary, rainy darkness, these tributaries of uncertainties were again present in my mind.  But again, they all flowed into an ocean of a reminder of the provision of the Lord and what He’s done for us.  Romans 8:32 came to mind… He gave HIS SON up for us… so how would God not also graciously give us all things?

The imagery last night couldn’t have been more perfect, nor the reminder more vivid.  A heavy fog pressed down upon the road with a vengeance, making it tough to see. When I drove with my normal headlights on, I could see all I needed to.  But, when I got greedy and wanted to see everything that surrounded my speeding vesicle by turning on the high beams, the light reflected off the mist, and I probably would have been better off driving with my eyes closed.

We all have fears, uncertainties, and selfishness that gets in our mind’s eye like this fog trying to overcome my Altima last night.   But, when we want to see everything and be in control, that’s when we’re blinded by our own faltering hearts.  The hardest part, for me at least, is relinquishing this control, turning the low beams back on, and trusting the One who gave up His Son for us.

He’s more than enough to guide us to our new Home.

Philip Matthews