A man who had been stranded on a deserted island for two years was at last found. The media accompanied the rescue team, and when they arrived they saw that the man had built three huts. When asked what the huts represented, the man explained.
"Well, this hut is my home. And that hut over there is where I go to church."
The reporters seemed moved by the revelation that he had a place of worship. But then one asked, "What is that hut over there?"
"That's the church I don’t go to!”
Life is full of preferences. Like the simple pleasure of choosing your favourite ice cream. Rum and Raisin for me thanks!
Desserts aside, our own partialities can be deeply-rooted. Our environment has its way of honing a ‘comfortable place’ for us, so we feel a sense of ‘being home’ and experiencing peace. And as a result, we tend to look for reminders of ‘home’ as we journey through life; subconsciously searching for familiarity and safety.
This month Ruth and I celebrate one year since our move to East Devon. Settling-in takes time, and getting to know people and places, can take years. But with each day, the churches, the parishes and our communities feel more like home to us. I am often reminded of this when I find myself being part of the welcome, rather than being welcomed. A thought:
Where is your ‘home’? For me, home is the place I return to. Sometimes, that is when I return to prayer or worship. At other times it is a physical place where I find rest and peace. It is summed up beautiful in St Augustine’s prayer. “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds rest in you.” I suppose I’m saying home is where I experience the presence of God.
Anyway, back to the three huts: home, the Church I attend, and that third place, the Church I don’t attend. I think Jesus spent much of his time in the third hut, the place where others chose not to go. Where is that third place for you? Where have you not ventured? It might not be a place, it might instead be a thought or an idea. It could be faith, religion or church. It could also be time spent with an old friend, a neighbour, or even someone that you don’t get on with. I encourage you to go to that place. See what you find, you never know you might find home is there too.