New things are always very exciting to me. It’s why I like presents – something new to look at and discover and play with, and all the more fun if I have to rip off pretty paper before I can get to my prize. But this house is all the more exciting because: a) it has a garden; b) it has a conservatory (something I’ve never had before); c) it has a greenhouse; d) it’s in Lovely Suburbia rather than Grotty Studentland; and e) there was a time when I didn’t have a house. And THAT’s a whole saga! Basically, the System meant that it took more time to process everything than we had before the contract on the old house ran out, so I had almost a week of living out of a suitcase at a very kind friend’s house while I was waiting to move in.
But what I love the most about this house is that it feels like a home now; like somewhere more permanent and settled where I could enjoy living for more than just a year. OK, so I am by myself in it at the moment – Blondie and Smiff (not their real names) are away in various places of the world at the moment so it’s just been me for a few days. It’s quite nice being in the house by yourself for a bit, you can just do whatever without having to think about when dinner is/who’s watching the TV/whether housemates will be annoyed at you making noise; but it has its limits.
Aaanyway, back to the point – home is nice. Home is safe, permanent, and somewhere where you can relax. Much like my parents’ house. I loved visiting them last weekend. They’ve been living in that house since I was very young, so it’s always been home to me. One of a few constants in the ever-changing life of a young adult.
“Home is where the heart is,” as the saying goes. So where is a person’s heart focussed? Things made of bricks and mortar and glass, as nice as they are to live in, aren’t permanent. Everything in life can change. So do we focus our desires and hopes on buildings? Or on the things we want, but don’t have yet? Or on the people we love?
“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21) So where your desires, hopes, and what you most value are, that’s where the core of your being is centred. As a Christian, my heart is supposed to be set on heaven, and much more, on God, who is the whole point of heaven anyway. But I find it just so easy to not set my sights that high. After all, it’s probably going to be another 60 years or so before I drop dead. And heaven is after you die, right? So what about the meantime?
Being a Christian is not, and never has been, just about getting into heaven so that we have somewhere nice to go after we die. It’s a whole life thing. It’s about the everyday boring stuff like paying bills and getting the bus to work. The question is, how do I set my heart on heaven while I’m paying the water bill or going to the supermarket? Our attitude – not just what we let others see, but what we don’t expose to the outside world – is very important in this. It shows where our heart, our treasure, our home is.
I can’t wait till I move into the house that I will live in for the next 5/10/20 years. I’d love to settle in a place. But is the most important thing in my life a building? It might be home, but it’s not quite Home – that, my friends, is far, far better.