“We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” 1 John 5:19
Where are you from? Where are you going? These are two very important questions.
The first questions tells us a great deal about who you are; or at least how the you that your are now started out. Different places leave their mark on people and many times you can intuit a great deal about a person if you know where they’ve come from.
The second question tells us about the kind of person you want to become. If we haven’t totally given up on living most of us have dreams about becoming more than we are today. When we’re children we talk about who we want to be when we grow up. Often those metaphorical destinations change as we mature and discover more about our own talents and learn more about all the options available to us. Eventually, we do set a course that will hopefully take us through all the changes necessary to become who we want to be.
You, of course, understand that where you come from and where you’re going may not be literal places. The journey could be very real but have no change in location. This is often the way it is for people when they decide to give their lives totally to God. The house they live in stays the same. The place they go to work or school is unchanged. Everything else around them may remain essentially identical as it’s always been but inside they’ve begun a journey that will completely change their relationship to the world around them.
We forget this. Over the years it’s easy to lose site of the fact that ultimately we’re going some place different than most of the people that are living around us. If we forget this it then becomes easy to have unrealistic expectations of people who aren’t filled with the Holy Spirit and aren’t being made into the image of Christ. Or we might forget where we’re going and return to living according to the pattern of the world and trying to fit in to that part of the world that we inhabit.
There’s an old country gospel hymn that reminds us that we’ve chosen a new home and that we’re on a journey that will take us to that new home and prepare us to live there. The lyrics of that hymn begin with these words, “This world is not my home, I’m just a passin through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door. And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”
It’s natural to want to feel that you’re at home and that you belong but, if you’re truly becoming a child of God, if you’re really cooperating with the process of being made into the image of Christ, you’ll never really be at home in this world. But we should be ok with that. After all, we have chosen a new home, haven’t we?