By The Merry Monk
“Like a bird that wanders from her nest, so is a man who wanders from his home.” Proverbs 27:8 (NASB)
I’m a wanderer at heart. It’s in my blood. I’m not childlike enough to delight in monotony. Give me new experiences, new environments or new relationships! I come alive when I’m on the road. I’m prone to wander from God too, but He keeps following me wherever I go. Most of the time I’m happy for the company.
Most men can relate to such nomadic tendencies, but that doesn’t mean we should always act on them. For example, I’ve been married for 16 years and I haven’t wandered away from my wife. I’ve lived in Central Florida for 25 years—talk about monotony. I’ve worked in broadcasting since I was a junior in high school, which makes 21 years now, and I’ve been with Key Life Network for 13 years. There’s some serious stability going on in my life.
So where do I get off claiming I’m a wanderer? It must be something inside me: a restlessness, a longing, an itch that only gets scratched when I’m “on the move.” It probably has a lot to do with the fact that when I was young, my family often bounced from town to town. Whatever the source may be, it completely drives me. Perhaps you’ve felt it at times, too.
This ache drives me to find my conceptual home—a place to rest. It can also be maddening, too. For as I am looking for this place, I begin to feel at home; and that keeps me moving. However, I can’t continue forever, so I stop to rest. But then the ache returns. I’m at home when I’m wandering and I’m restlessly wandering when I’m at home. When I stop to think about it, that’s a lot of wandering. I have been doing this for a very long time…and I’m tired. I constantly yearn for home, and this yearning makes me tick. I want to feel at home, but I don’t know where “home” is. Sometimes I feel like the road leading home is so long that it goes on forever. The journey can be exhausting.
In the midst of my despair, I hear my Father’s voice calling me, “Son?”
“Here I am.”
“You’re wandering again.”
“Well, what do You expect? I’m trying to find rest.”
“Come away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a proper rest. Walk with Me and watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep in My company and you’ll learn to live free and lightly.”
In tears I reply, “I can’t. I know my home is out here somewhere. I have to find it.”
“Alright, but when you get tired, you should know that home isn’t a place and it’s not a road. Home is a person. I am Home. Come to Me and find rest.”
With more tears, I respond, “But I’m so prone to wander.”
“If you insist…I am the road, too. I am the Way Home. Come walk along Me.”
“But I’m tired.”
Then I hear laughter, “Either way, I will never leave you or forsake you!”
This brings a smile through my tears, “Is there any hope for me?”
“Sure there is, but you’re wandering again. Weren’t you writing an article?”
“Oh yeah, I was.”
God keeps following us around. As David put it, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there” (Psalm 139:7, 8). Most of the time we are happy for the company, but in our selfishness, He can be distracting at times. We should learn to be more appreciative of the distractions. He loves us so much that He distracts us with His truth.
We are all wanderers at heart to some degree, but we all just really want to be home. And that’s what drives us. Not a bad thing at all, in fact, it’s a God thing. He promises that if we seek Him, we will find Him. (Matthew 7:7) God calls us to find our home in Him. He’s committed to making sure we get there, no matter how much we wander.
Box this near the end
“When I’m alone, when I’ve thrown off the weight of this crazy stone, when I’ve lost all care for the things I own…that’s when I miss you. That’s when I miss you, you who are my home.”