Sometimes I look at the pastimes that I enjoy the most---and I wonder why these hobbies are so soothing to me---why do they feed my soul? Many of the hobbies that I enjoy most are not things that I do particularly well---there's just something inherently satisfying about them. Playing music--particularly hymns or praise songs--- on the guitar and the ukulele make me feel like finally, my mind is still---and I can think without the frantic pace that always seems to drive me outside of myself throughout a normal day. When I play a song---when I listen to the words---I feel like myself again---the self that knows it is nothing without Christ---the self that knows that it is planted like a tree near the water----that there is a never-ending spring of joy to drink from---and to be satisfied---to be thankful in Christ alone. Still---my heart is prone to wander even in these times---and while I am content on one level----somewhere far beyond the level I can most readily identify---I know that I have not yet been made complete---and that the joy I experience in singing songs to glorify God is a shadow of a greater joy---to come.... And when I stand on the brink of that perspective---I find myself profoundly homesick.
When I pick up the needles and knit---connect loop with loop----bringing order out of tangled string ....again---I wonder if this compulsion to try and create beauty out of little knots of a wooden stick is a deeper homesickness---a memory---if you could call it a memory---of a time when we were charged with looking after our home...tending a garden---bringing forth order from the wild growth. Unfortunately, I've never had the compulsion to tend an actual garden----but I do wonder----does the satisfaction I feel with watching tiny loops on a stick connecting with other loops until something sensible or something beautiful start to emerge---Is that a symptom of a deeper homesickness??
When I spend inordinate amounts of time fiddling with water chemistry on the fish tanks----trying to make everything line up just perfect----so that the fish are happy and healthy---and tame enough to eat from our hands....does it all point to a time when nature was at peace with man-----when all was at peace----and am I trying to reclaim some measure of that peace when I attempt to tame an animal.....when I take satisfaction in the animal's well being......is it all homesickness, I wonder?
There are some mornings when I feel like I am planted in a deeper Reality than I am normally aware of......The tile feels more vibrantly cold on my bare feet----the coffee tastes richer---and the silence of the sleeping house feels inhabited....inhabited by a Personal God who deigns to not only rescue me out of my outright rebellion and save me from myself---and from hell---but who goes even further---to form a relationship with me---where I am known completely and loved completely simultaneously. Who is this God who loves us so intimately? So unconditionally? Who chases after us when we run from him? Who binds wandering hearts that would be lost if they really did get away from the One they're trying to escape form......The older I get---the more I can say---God is good.....There is no good apart from Him.....and I think CS Lewis was right when he talked about the profound homesickness we feel at times for a world that is not like this one---the desire to be reunited with our Love---and to be set back in our true Home.....