On one of my summer trips, I had the opportunity to visit Alaska again (definitely my “happy place”). At almost every stream I passed, I got to see that annual trek of salmon making their way back to the place where they were hatched.
It is an amazing journey. Sockeye salmon, for example will travel almost 2500 miles in their 3-6 year life span. They will go from fresh water to the open salt-water sea and back to a specific fresh water stream.
For years scientists have argued about how they accomplish that incredible feat. Some have conjectured that they navigate by smell. Others believe they track various chemicals in the water and plot their way “home.” Most recently, scientists believe that their internal GPS system is monitoring and following a path made by the earth’s magnetic field.
However they accomplish the trek, it is utterly amazing to think that those creatures with very tiny brains are able to swim that long and that far and end up within a foot of where they were spawned.
Salmon are not the only creatures with a strong drive to “make it home.” Each of us has been pre-wired to long for that magically place we call home. When we are children, that place looked a lot like a warm, inviting kitchen. As we mature, the physical shape of the house doesn’t matter a great deal. But, we still long for home.
C.S. Lewis (one of my favorite authors) had a great deal to say about “home.” In Mere Christianity he famously remarked, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” In other words, this world is not my home.
In another book speaking of our eternal home in heaven, one of Lewis’ characters said, “I have come home at last. This is my real country. I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now.”
And he summed it all up with this thought, “The fact that our heart yearns for something earth can’t supply is proof that heaven must be our home.”
With all the turbulence the last few weeks, I have found myself longing for HOME. And I think that is a good thing. I encourage you to spend some time this week longing for your real home too. It helps set our perspective on world affairs. It gives a framework from which to evaluate things. It tilts our chin and helps us look UP!
Remember, Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled…I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:1-3). “Home” with Jesus!