There was a time long ago, when we left our home in the USA, and set up our new home in Australia. I was offered a job to teach music grades 7-12 in a small town school located in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. They didn’t tell me until I arrived that I was the 6th music teacher in 6 years at this school. But through much perseverance I made my mark, elevating compulsory music education from being hated to being tolerated. One learns to accept what progress one can make. When six brass instruments surprisingly arrived by train from headquarters I, a woodwind guy, started a brass band. However badly we performed we could count on getting a “standing ovation” when we played “God Save the Queen.” Decades later I learned that little school band had grown in proficiency and toured Europe!
We lived in “Sherwood Cottage” in Burradoo, 3 miles from town. During school vacations we packed our Holden station wagon and hammer to keep the gear shift lever in place and we set off on grand adventures. From the tropics of Queensland to the chilly and rugged island of Tasmania; from the beaches at Botany Bay to the outback town of Broken Hill where we nursed orphaned kangaroo joeys, we experienced the “dinkum di” Aussie life. We explored opal and gold mining towns and enjoyed the diverse landscape of “the bush.” Despite the challenging work situation, we made wonderful lifelong friends and came to call the wonderful land of Oz our “home away from home.”
But at the end of my teaching contract and with our own little Aussie “Joey” in tow, we returned to our home in America. We enjoyed vacations in the Badlands and the Rockies but as much fun as we had, there was always a point where it was “time to go home.” There’s no place like home, that place where your is where your heart longs to be. It’s a place filled with celebrated love and shared burdens. When we went on mission to Bolivia, we had this strange and pervasive feeling that we had come “home to the place we’d never been before.” It’s where we belonged and where we long to return because of the people we met and how God was moving among us.
As much as we all cling to our own home sweet home, there is another place, more wonderful and exciting beyond imagination, that’s called our true home. If we think climbing volcanoes and feeding baby kangaroos is exciting, we’ll be blown away at how marvelous is this home where we’d never been before.
It’s open to all who realize how desperately they personally need God’s gift of eternal salvation and the transformational power for living right now with peace and joy and real hope. Heaven is our true home, the place of great everlasting blessing. And there’s a piece of “Heaven on earth” when we come quietly and humbly before the Lord our God and receive his blessing of grace and power for living a victorious life that rises above our darkest circumstances.
None of us know the time we have left in this earthly home. May God guide the time that remains. . . until we finally go to our forever home.