Moving house is an upheaval that most of us have the smarts to do just twice or thrice in a lifetime. The impost of upending your life’s accumulation into cardboard boxes is unmentionable, albeit cathartic.
I’m an ‘If-it-hasn’t-been-used-in-the-last-12-months-get-rid-of-it’ girl. This invariably causes friction with my ‘I-better-hold-onto-this-in-case-I-need-it-next-decade’ husband.
We managed. We wrapped it all in newsprint, packed it in boxes, stacked it in a truck and shifted it to a neighbouring suburb within a few days, thank you very much. I may have taken a few stealthy armloads to the wheelie bin when hubby wasn’t looking…
During this madness there were a few moments when I had headspace to look around and mourn what we were unlatching ourselves from. A red front door. A sun-drenched window seat. A magnolia tree. A gate to the best neighbours in the world. A doorjamb marked with our son’s height at birth, one, two. A doorbell that can be heard four doors down. I allowed a self-indulgent tear to be shed over the place we had called home for the past seven years.
A week later, at the new place, I was surprised at how quickly it felt like home. With our furniture pushed into corners, our pictures on walls, our clothes on the line, our dishes on the sink, there was little time for ‘adjustment’.
A friend summed it up for me: “Home is what’s within the four walls.”
Here’s my segue, folks (you knew it was coming!).
I like to think that the same applies for humanity. We spend an awful lot of time on our shell, our four walls, our house (a.k.a. our body and mind). But the part that really matters, the part that defines us and is of eternal significance is our soul.
It gives that saying, “Home is where the heart is,” a whole new meaning. My heart is with Jesus, my home is in heaven. It means that this blink-of-an-eye lifetime on earth is just a waiting room. It doesn’t pay to get comfortable here.
“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” (Philippians 3:20-21)
Do you have a soul? If your answer is “yes” then you’re closer to believing in God than you might think. C. S. Lewis would have me rephrase the question, “You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”
Have you ever felt an inexplicable restlessness within your core, your soul, about the workings of our world? A restlessness connected to questions of, why am I here? Where is the justice? And will it ever be better? Have you considered that these meandering thoughts and feelings might be because you are not home yet?
We brush, tan, pluck, exercise and medicate our bodies. We renovate, extend, paint, re-wire and landscape our homes. What will this toil count for in the end if our soul has not received that same level of attention, to be synchronised with Jesus?
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says God “has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds (a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy)…” (Amplified)
If moving house is a turmoil, my soul shudders to think how it would be to face death without an eternal home.
First printed in The Examiner newspaper for Keeping the Faith column on Monday November 4, 2013.