i’ve done a lot of wandering in my life.
from Ohio, to Canada, to Kansas, to Pennsylvania.
and, a lot, alot of states in between.
this vast US of A has a lot of gorgeous, breathtaking scenery.
a lot of amazing cultures.
a lot of natural wonders the eyes can barely comprehend.
a lot of history, a lot of stories.
and, so do you
each of us has a story to tell….
a story that begins with ‘where i’ve come from’.
who our parents are..
who our grandparents and great-grandparents are or were…
where we were born, where all we’ve lived, what all we’ve done.
and, in a lot of ways those things largely define who we are today.
for some people, that’s all that defines them.
but, for me…..and, i am probably climbing up on a soapbox in this, but here goes……
Where you’re going is more important
than where you’ve been.
when i’m in a group of new people, it often comes up in conversation, the thing of ‘what was your maiden name’ or ‘who are your parents’.
and, i’m pretty confident and proud of my heritage, and my parents.
however, when i mention my last name, and it registers that it is not your typical, and common Mennonite name, i get some pretty in-ter-esting responses.
from the looks of surprise, to the grasping at straws to connect any dots, to the realization that we cannot trace our roots to any of the same ancestors…i’ve seen them all.
it is okay.
i’ve come to the place where i recognize that for some people, the thing of All roads lead home is of utmost importance.
i have also come to understand thru a friends once-upon-a-time comment that to some people, knowing where you have come from is very, very important and dear to their hearts, in ways that i had never thought of before.
she made me see another angle to looking at the whole thing of ‘where you’ve come from’ and i deeply appreciate her one little comment that stuck with me more than most any other thing we talked about.
when i stand before the Lord on judgment day, all my connections and where i’ve come from will matter not a bit.
i’m not saying that i live in this light and realization as much as i wish i would.
some day’s, no, a lot of days, i get caught up in the moment(s) and forget that this world is not my home.
i lose sight of where i’m going.
i forget that the people i interact with are on a journey of their own, and where they are going should be more important to me than where they’ve been.
i forget to look at my children in light of eternity when they have exhausted and sucked the life out of me in ways that i think i might not recover from.
i let the little things of this (momentary) life become the big things.
i worry about tomorrow.
but, thankfully, i serve a God who gives me second, third and fourth, however many, chances.
He brings a person, or a situation into my life that slaps me back to the reality of what life is really about.
and, He reminds me that while my life may feel insignificant or of little account, my story, my life can, and is impacting someone, somewhere.
whether it’s my children (and, it is!) or my spouse (and it is!) or my neighbors, or my friends that i rub shoulders with, someone is in some way being impacted by the life i live.
i’ve thought alot about Lot’s wife the last while, and how she looked back on what she knew, what she loved, where she wanted to stay….and, look what it got her.
she became a pillar of salt.
i think it’s in each one of us to have a little of that tendency to want to look back, to want to go back, to want to stay where we’ve always been, where it’s safe.
but, as we do that, we become just like Lot’s wife:
salt that is stuck in one spot looking at where we’ve been and forgetting to look forward to where we’re going.
a couple of times in my life i’ve been involved in groups where we have individually shared our life stories.
the first time i did so, i was not really sure how much to share, what angle to come at it from, or what mattered.
but, as i sat down and thought, as i wrote and as i relived a lot of my past, it was good for me to recognize where i’ve come from, what i’ve come thru…..
and, to think about where i’m going from this point on.
to think about where i have belonged.
to think about where i belong now.
to look at my past and present and realize that belonging is a part of life.
but, the greatest sense of belonging i can ever know, ever wish for, ever share with anyone else, is…
belonging to Him.