Having a place to call home

Have you ever felt a yearning, a feeling you couldn't quite identify? You have done what you thought you wanted to do in life. You have followed what you thought was your dream, and you are still following the route you think will make you happy. So, what is wrong? What is causing that forlorn sadness or emptiness inside?

A few weeks ago, as I watched a movie, my attention was drawn to a statement made by an actor starring in the film. A group of drifters were gathered around a campfire talking about life, their past and their chosen path now. People seem to pull themselves inside their thoughts after dark and when they are alone. Sometimes unwelcome introspection accumulates within those empty rooms as our minds are directed inside our hearts and minds. I, too, have felt the yearning about which I'm talking. As the men reminisced, they all had different ideas concerning the goals they were pursuing. They listed the many places they had traveled. Each had an ultimate destination he wanted to reach. His eyes were focused on his future. Greener pastures were ahead. He would keep walking, searching and experiencing, until the right direction would be found.

Most of us have felt that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence at one time or another. We grow restless and wonder why. We look at our neighbors and friends achieving their dreams, dreams like those we desire -- and ponder how we can achieve the same. However, we've failed to work on our goals, and, instead, we focused on what others were doing instead of developing the necessary skills and attitudes we needed for our success. Famous chef and television personality Wolfgang Puck said, "The grass is greener where you water it." Perhaps we try to become another person, like somebody else. We feel that we aren't good enough as we are. Little do we know that, for us, we are already the best, if we, but recognize and live out the best potential, of which we are capable. I recently remembered the time when I won a competition at school. Upon returning home, I was so excited and thrilled, I quickly ran upstairs to inform my brother, Jim. He was ill and had not attended the event. Jim was already angry and out of sorts. He was feeling badly psychically and suffering with the usual teenage insecurities. His tongue lashed out at me like the poison of a snake, and he hissed, "I don't care, get out of my room and leave me alone." One would think that I would've been deterred in my enthusiasm because of his sour mood and lack of support. However, I was undaunted and gleefully skipped into my bedroom across the hall. I was so happy and proud of myself as I tasted my success, that I felt I might burst. As I went to sleep, I knew that I was the luckiest teenage girl in the world. I prayed, "God, thank you so much that I am me. I would never want to be anyone else." Although the feelings of jubilation lasted only briefly, for a matter of days, I couldn't imagine ever wanting to be anyone else. I was the total embodiment of Psalm 139:14 which says, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful."

My family was far from being rich or famous, but because of our connections of love and stability I was satisfied where I was. It was home, a place of comfort and support for me. Regardless of how far I strayed, I always had a place to call home.

Before we continue to search for greener grass and reap only dissatisfaction, we need to step back and reevaluate our motives. It's admirable to look for opportunities and possess the courage to expand, but we must ask what we are expecting. We take ourselves with us, regardless of where we're searching. The men around the campfire discerned among themselves and discovered that what they longed for, most, was to find a purpose and that place they can always come home to.