Somewhere around 7 a.m. last Friday (in the midst of my "Black Friday" experience) I was walking through a very crowded department store. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a little flash of blue as it rounded a display. Making a bolt from the children's section to the housewares was a little boy, hair disheveled as if he had just been pulled from the bed. He was wearing a little sweat suit with some kind of boyish icon. As he tore between the racks of clothes and the legs of tired shoppers, I heard him scream back at the adult chasing him, "I don't want to be here. I'm ready to go home." (I could feel his pain. The only difference was that I didn't think Lisa would let me run through the racks of clothes screaming without knocking me up side the head.)
With as much patience as she could muster, the lady said, "Son, we'll go home soon but there is still some stuff left to do."
Funny the places that God hits us. I think I have said this before (sorry, it's the old age) but I get tired of this place some times. Some times it's because it becomes too routine. Other times I get overwhelmed. Still others, I get just a little tired of all that I have to do as a pastor, parent, husband, son, brother, etc. So, in my own little way, I tear off running through life, thinking to myself, "I don't want to be here. I'm ready to go home."
God's message to us is clear, though. He has much for us to do. Some day, the journey will be over but, till then, we have assignments. One of those is making sure that when we get "home" we are not alone. God doesn't want one of his children to miss out on a chance to know him. Not one! As a friend of mine shared this past Sunday at Ridgeview, "If the whole world knew Christ and I was the only one who had never trusted Him, God would still mourn for me as if I were the only one." That's powerful stuff. The world needs to know that.
I made it home last Friday. I was tired. I was a little irritable. But I made it home nonetheless. I look forward to that other day of homecoming. When I get there, I want to hear the Lord say, "Job well done. You are home and not a minute too soon. You completed the task and ran the WHOLE race. Well done, indeed."
Hope my little friend made it home Friday as well. I'm betting it didn't come without some strong exhortations from his mom. But he'll have another 365 days to get ready for 2008. Guess I will too.