July 3rd to be exact.
Since I last typed up and sent out a message.
I could say I have been busy. Because I have. I could say I have been overwhelmed. Because it would be true. I could say what Jessica said in her introduction to the wander this morning…that sometimes we are too worn out for words and resting with God is all we can do. Because that would be accurate.
There are many ways to rest depending on the type of tired that you are. My tiredness seems deep and lasting and long-accumulated…and not unique. We are all tired and craving a break.
Last weekend I did something I haven’t done in 15 years and I booked tickets to fly back East to see my extended family.
I have been missing home.
Fiona has never met most of my aunts or uncles or cousins. She has never seen the treehouse my father built for me or tasted the deliciousness of fresh cider, homemade donuts, or apples ripe off the tree. She has never gone swimming in the lake at the cottage or ran laughing through the backwoods of a forest so magical you could never feel lost.
Feeling lost is an acquired lifestyle. One we subtly grow into and will never grow out of if we become too comfortable residing in the distractions that can come to define us.
I didn’t want to spend the money. Or I didn’t have the money. Or I couldn’t spare the time away from the church.
There are many reasons to stay lost but when my uncle died last year and then another uncle died a few months ago staying lost felt less and less like a worthwhile problem. I just wanted to go home. I wanted to be home. I wanted to feel like I was home.
In Matthew 11: 28-30, Jesus asks if we are tired and worn out. I like that he doesn’t wait for an answer. He already knows we are tired and worn out and he invites us home. He tells us to come to him. To get away with him.
“Come to me,” Jesus says, “Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.”
I booked tickets to fly home not knowing exactly what home meant but I do think there is an element of seeking to recover my life. To remember who I was in order to reclaim who I am.
Not as a pastor or a mom but strictly and solely just as myself. The person who will always love too much and work too hard. Who loves to hug trees and care for animals and advocate for kids. The person who will pull over on a busy road to help a bug get safely off a windshield. Who is not slow to anger and who wallows in self-pity. The person who forgets to eat lunch but always remembers to drink coffee.
Every week is filled with calls and emails and texts from work reminding me that I need to do this and I should have done that and I won’t do it that way next time. But this week was the first week that I can remember being interrupted with calls with a different purpose.
“Uncle Albert wants you to stay a few nights. He has two bedrooms for you. They want you to meet Sarah. She’s really into gardening.”
“Uncle Tom will take you to the Lake if the weather isn’t bad.”
“Aunt Donna can’t wait to see you. Remember to call when you get there. Not everyone texts!”
By Friday night, home, I realized, is people being excited to see you. People who love you and want to be with you and tell you that. People who miss you when you aren’t there and take care of you when you are there.
I think being lost isn’t about forgetting who you are but forgetting that feeling. Not the feeling of missing home. The feeling of being home to the people who love you.
Home is a decision we make.
A realization that takes place.
A reminder that rest is found in the shelter of the people who love you and respond to you and remind you, that to them, you are home.
Are you tired? Are you worn out? … Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.