Friday, October 28, 2011

You Can't Go Home Again, But You Can Go Home

Do you remember being a kid?  No worries, no responsibilities, no obligations; not like we have now as adults.  There was school, there was Little League, there were social issues (who would be “it” first in a game of tag), but it never occurred to me that one day I’d be responsible for keeping a roof over my head.  I never once imagined I’d have a car payment.

When I think of the phrase, “You can’t go home again,” that’s what I mean.  You – well, I – we – can never go backwards.  It’s impossible.  The closest thing to that is memory loss; we can’t age our bodies and minds in reverse; time is marching on.  We can’t go back to the time of innocence, fun and frivolity.  Once innocence is lost, it’s gone forever; we’ve learned something new and every lesson learned is indelibly imprinted within our minds, branded onto our souls.

Now, some people forget, or they don’t learn from life’s happenings.  Those who don’t learn, those who forget, are doomed to repeat history.  Sometimes the “not learning” is deliberate, sometimes it’s not, but regardless, history is cyclical as events occur outside of, though perpetually intersecting with, our individual lives.  All we can do is learn the best we can from life’s happenings and progress rather than merely spinning our wheels.

Plus, I daresay, few, if any of us, knew how well we had it off as children.  Granted, I’m speaking to folks who did not grow up in abusive or highly dysfunctional homes, but until we did become responsible for ourselves we didn’t know what we were missing.  Sometimes we want to go back to that, but that is fruitless, a chasing of the wind.

However, though we can’t go backwards, we can always go home.

What is “home”?  Home is where we can let down our guard; where, though, we may have responsibilities in our lives, we don’t have to worry about them, merely tend to them when necessary.  Home is where we are free to be not only honest, but transparent with no fear of mistrust or betrayal.

If we believe in God, if we love God the Father, believe in His Son, Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made on the cross, and then His resurrection, home is wherever God is – and He is omnipresent. 

He looks after all our needs.

He desires for us to be honest and transparent with Him; He encourages us to do that, He enables us to do that.  It’s so hard to admit, just to ourselves, that we’re not perfect, that we screw up sometimes in abhorrent ways (more than any of us would care to admit).  All God asks of us – of anyone who would approach Him – is that we be honest with ourselves about all that and then be honest with Him.  And then everything is okay again.  I mean, we need to learn from it and grow, but there’s no condemnation anymore.  We are free to be ourselves, starting off where we are right this instant, and continue to be ourselves, growing as the biological and spiritual organisms we are, all the way to the end.  For me, that means being just Cliff – that’s all I’ve got to be.

And that is so refreshing.

Other systems of faith demand best behavior, strict adherence to a moral code and depending on how well you do in the here and now, you just might have a shot at an okay hereafter.

God says, “Nah, just come as you are.  Tell me your troubles, vocalize your pain, show me your deepest wounds and I’ll heal you then I’ll show you how to really live life, free of fear.  Free of pain?  Oh, no, my child; there will always be plenty of pain to go around, but trust me on this: it’s necessary and it’ll help you grow.  There’s a world of hurt inside your heart and a world of hurt inside Mine – that’s where you live – in My heart, because I love you so much.  My world of hurt comes from having to require my Son to walk His Road of Pain so that you and I could get together.  I did it because it was necessary and I knew He could take it.  He was scared at one point, but He did it anyway because He trusted me and now look where He is.  So, come on; follow me down the Road I have laid out for you.  It’s not going to be easy but it’ll be worth it; just wait ‘til you see the party I have planned at the end of all this!  Just keep your eyes on me and everything will be all right.”

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