It was a clear, crisp autumn afternoon as my son and I headed toward home after several days on the Appalachian Trail. It was the end of another ``thrilling episode,'' as we called these outings. One of the most enjoyable parts, though, was the trip home. There was the stop at the roadside stand, the milkshake or hot cocoa--but most of all the thought of home. We could look forward to a warm fire, the wagging tail of a hound, an energetic sister, a mother's care, and visits from special grandparents. It was always a happy prospect. As the years slipped by, however, things changed, as they tend to do in human life. My son and daughter grew up and left home, my marriage ended, a loved grandmother passed away, and the hound passed from the scene. The homestead of twenty years was sold, and I took a new job in a city some distance away. My concept of home had been shattered. As I sat in bed one evening with tears clouding my view to such an extent that I could not read the Bible in front of me, I realized that I needed a new sense of home. I thought of Christ Jesus' comment ``The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.''1 Jesus was often on the move, yet he never lacked a sense of his Father's love. He was always at home in his consciousness of the Father's presence, and his needs were cared for. While he suffered severe trials, he didn't lose sight of that deep love and completeness that came from his being the Son of God.
We learn from the Scriptures that we are all sons and daughters of God, complete in Him. This is our actual status, inseparable from our creator. ``The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ....''2 Regardless of appearances, we're not really vulnerable mortals, subject to separation from God's love. We're His spiritual offspring, cared for in every detail, and we can come to feel and prove this truth through prayer.
My thought was arrested by this statement from the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science: ``When we realize that Life is Spirit, never in nor of matter, this understanding will expand into selfcompleteness, finding all in God, good, and needing no other consciousness.''3 In the ensuing days and months, as I began more diligently to demonstrate Jesus' teachings in my life and to realize that Life really is Spirit, never in matter, and that God's goodness was always completely with me and could never be separated from me, things changed for the better. The house where I lived seemed warmer, the parks where I walked seemed to smile and comfort me. The children, now grown, drew closer again, and a deep friendship developed with my father and later with a dear woman who became my wife.
I'm sure that these events were no accident. They were the result of God's goodness, always available to us. It is brought to light when we turn to Him and see that our home isn't, in the most profound sense, a physical place but a concept within us, the consciousness of God's love for us. Whether we are returning home from a backpacking trip, for a holiday, or on the daily trip from the office, we can feel an assurance that God is already there with His never-ending love and His many blessings. Have a happy homecoming!
1Matthew 8:20. 2 Romans 8:16, 17. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 264. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Psalms 23:6