Beacon of Light
Summer 2008 is winding its way down, even while the heat remains strong in Middle Tennessee. For my family and I, it has been a summer of literally and metaphorically searching for home, and in recent days a re-awakening into the true purposes of home and a humbling reminder of my constant need for The Serenity Prayer.
During the past few days we have been settling into a house we purchased last week, our first opportunity to be homeowners since moving to Franklin during the holidays last year. I'm sitting here in what is commonly called a "bonus room" but to what I affectionately refer to as our "office," "library," "study"...it is a potentially sacred place, with bookshelves full of our favorite books--as well as the full collection of my notes from my graduate degree at Asbury Theological Seminary. The floor currently is stacked with diplomas and other credentials to be hung on the walls, along with various artwork and photographs. The top of one bookshelf houses a collection of pottery that has been given to me during my years in ministry, such as a cup and chalice. A small attic space holds a series of bins with original copies of manuscripts, screenplays ands songs I have written, as well as collections of artwork made by my children. Other bins hold precious objects such as gifts from my late father.
It is a room that tells a story and helps craft future stories. And it is a room I have not has in quite some time. A place to reflect, and a place to produce. A place to pray, and a place to work. A place to lay on the floor and a place to sit up and stay focused.
The house in its larger context is the kind of home we have always wanted. With such a longing suddenly fulfilled, the past few days I have found myself under a certain degree of stress. Keeping the new place neat, tidy and clean. Keeping an eye on the kind of folks that stroll back and forth or ride their bikes along the common areas that surround our spacious backyard. Trying to find a balance between embracing community and protecting my "property."
This morning God got my attention in Sunday school, during a video for the "Experiencing God for Couples" series. I sensed his whisper, "Your home is to be a beacon of light for me." I imagined our new home, positioned where the street bends, backing into the large common area. So many persons coming and going. So many opportunities to be a positive light.
The Old Testament warrior Joshua declared, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Christ in the New Testament asserts that to whom much is given, much is expected.
A hunger for a deeper relationship with Christ has slowly been rumbling in my core, and it is growing more pronounced. As this blog demonstrates, I have been on more of an intellectual spiritual journey for more than the past year. It has been enriching, and I would not trade it. But the Spirit is softening my heart once again, creating a thirst for a relationship, for not wanting to take this journey alone.