I have just finished another three-night round of sleeping in a rather nice hotel on a business trip. And while the establishment offered plenty of nice amenities, there was the usual feeling that it was just not quite home.
The pillows that, despite their quantity, were a little too thin yet too thick if you piled one on top of the other. There was the extra light coming in through the curtains making the room not quite dark enough. The lack of any significant white noise, which I have gotten used to when I sleep. The uncertain carpet, upon which I chose not to perform my morning and evening stretching rituals. Those little bottles of shampoo that leave my hair with that not-so-clean feeling.
Minor annoyances, really, in the grand scheme of being able to take a business trip for a relatively healthy company in unhealthy economic times, but a reminder still of the downfalls of temporary lodging. It is not home, my family is not there with me, it is a holding pen.
Tonight I will be back in those familiar surroundings of my home near Nashville, with the immediate family whom I love. My pillows, the lighting as I can control it, the white noise, the carpet we vacuum and on a rare occasion clean. That familiar, midnight blue bottle of Suave for Men. Who could want anything more?
Yet, I am restless even with the comforts of home. Because I come to grips regularly with the unmistakable impression that even the best of homes here is still a harbinger of the more complete home beyond this life.
Beyond the dynamic of home, I recognize this in relationships. Why can't someone love me perfectly well on my terms, mine I say? Why can't I find the perfect job, the perfect vocational fit? Why can't my health always be abundant?
Why can't I write the perfect prose, beyond that "one true sentence" that Hemingway said a writer must craft when he or she is stuck. Why do the words that show up on paper never quite reflect the fullness of what was swirling around inside my brain?
I am incomplete in all I do. I am inconsistent in my work ethic, my values, my faith, my interactions with others. I am terribly in need of grace and mercy, and a conduit for the best of heaven and the worst of hell. Sometimes on the same day.
But on most days, I'm seeking the heart of God. And every day, I know he is seeking me.
And knowing that he is seeking, I'm relatively okay with being not quite home yet or not quite as cleaned up as I'd like to be.