As the first full week of college comes to a close for the OBU freshman, class of ’21, many students will return home for the extended Labor Day weekend. An interesting word that is, “home.” To many, home is where the heart is. Some may find this to be an antiquated notion; nonetheless, it’s a popular stance, and one not without merit.
Personally, returning to my motherland isn’t an option, you see–I live 6 and 1/2 hours away and have no vehicle!–and the loneliness to come is already weighing on me. I can see it now:
There’s a frail, slumped figure slowly treading the halls of Agee. Controlled sobs are audible from behind him; he’s alone. (Camera swings around to view Subject’s face as he continues slowly down the hall–now!) He’s the lone tenant of Agee 4th Bax during the Labor Day weekend. What a pitiful soul!
Now, despite the obviously realistic possibility of such a situation, it’s completely overdramatic! To begin with, other students will certainly remain on campus over the extended weekend. And even more so, I’m sure some of them will be friends. (At least they will be by the end of it!) But, most importantly, God has given each of us this place to make a new home.
Christ teaches, during his Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6, that we ought to avoid storing “treasures on earth,” and instead “lay up… treasures in heaven… For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” He indicates that we have a choice of where our hearts find pleasure and value. Either we can tie our hearts to earthly things (which include our families and hometowns), or we can safely store our hearts in His presence.
Now, to be clear, Christ wants us to delight in our families and our heritage. Heck, the relationship between Christ and the Church is likened to that of a man and wife, who, incidentally, also translate into our mothers and fathers. However, ultimate joy may be found only in Christ. Circumstances are as ever-changing as the weather in Texas, but remember verse 20: “…but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” God’s love abides in those whose hearts belong to Him.
So, if you’re returning home this weekend, great! Don’t lose those ties. Family will always be important and God may one day call you back to serve your hometown. When you get back to campus though, or for those who aren’t leaving at all, think about where your heart is. Is it with Mom and Dad? Is it lingering in the streets of the old days? Or, is it safely found in the arms of God where he can move “home” to where he puts you?