MY family was moving back to my hometown, but we wouldn't be able to settle into permanent living quarters for months. We were in a quandary about where to live in the meanwhile, for apartment vacancies were rare and any other option we could think of was beyond our budget.
My parents generously offered to share their home with us. We weren't sure, though, how long harmony would reign if we moved in. Their ideas on how to raise children didn't always mesh with our own--especially when it came to their love of being Grandpa and Grandma for our two-year-old. We could handle an excess abundance of sweets and toys for visits but were uncertain what effect they'd have for months on end!
In praying for God's guidance, my wife and I thought about a statement in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science. She writes: ``Pilgrim on earth, thy home is heaven; stranger, thou art the guest of God'' (p. 254).
What a help it was to be reminded that our true home is heaven-- God's harmonious government of man right here. This explained why we had been having such a difficult time finding peace about where to live. We had been thinking of home in the lim- ited terms of what we thought would be optimum human living conditions. If these ``ideal'' circumstances weren't present, we felt, it would be difficult to be happy. But once we saw that God had already provided us a spiritual home that it was filled with genu-ine peace and happiness, we could make this truth our own.
The issue was no longer whether we should stay with my parents or not, but of understanding how we could feel more of heaven's presence no matter where we lived.
Christ Jesus said, Luke's Gospel records, ``The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you'' (17:20, 21). Heaven is not out of reach, but here to be enjoyed.
Home is as close to us as we are to God. Everything we need to be happy and content is spiritual and is found in an understanding of God's omnipresent good. Spiritual inspirations gained through listening and praying to God make for a happy home. God's ideas help and heal, and they are readily ours when sought. We happily accepted my parents' offer and moved in.
Soon we could see there was indeed a difference of opinion on eating habits for our daughter. My wife and I desired to keep candy and snacks to a minimum, but Grandpa and Grandma found it difficult to say no. Our daughter figured this out quickly, and polite requests for moderation and restraint had little impact.
In praying for a solution, we strove to understand that happiness and affection are not dependent upon giving and receiving something material--in this case cookies, candy, and the like. We had already learned in our prayers for home, that enduring happiness comes only from God. Also, man's God-given disposition is to love without expecting a reward in return and to be happy doing it. As we more actively looked for unselfed love in ourselves, my parents, and our daughter, the problem dis-appeared. My parents tempered the snacking; our daughter's appetite returned to normal; and my wife and I were thrilled the whole issue had been resolved through prayerful means alone. We truly felt at home. Our entire stay was a happy one, and we wouldn't have done it any other way.
We've settled into our own place now, but find our sense of home growing continually as we turn to God for meeting daily needs. We may move again, but are assured the happiness and peace that come from above will stay with us wherever we live.