Yesterday, in the closing Sunday of the Soul Cravings series, I had a chance to speak for a few minutes at the westside gathering. As I was considering how to help others know what to do when they long to believe, belong, or become, I thought of Caleb’s baseball practice the other day.
Caleb has moved up from teeball to the tiny baseball division. These 7 and 8 year old boys now pitch to each other, play catcher, keep score, and wear a cup. (Caleb looks like Batman running around in left field with his new protective gear on). Our coach is great as he is teaching the boys the next level of baseball – bunting, fake bunting, waiting for a strike, and stealing home. He has even taught them to watch him as he gives “signs” for what to do.
One day at practice Caleb was first in line to practice stealing home. As the ball crossed the plate, the coach shouted “Go! Go!” Then once the catcher picked up the ball, he yelled “Back! Back!” Caleb hurried back to third base just as the catcher threw the ball over the pitcher’s head. The coach began screaming at Caleb, “GO! GO! GO!” Then all the kids and parents began yelling as well! “GO GO! GO!” Obviously confused and excited and a bit anxious, Caleb ran faster than I have ever seen him run. Unfortunately he ran straight to 1st base.
Often, we miss the signs all around us which point us towards home. Even as we know where to go, the loud voices and distractions all around us pull us in the wrong directions, when really we just need to run home.
Where should we go when our heart breaks from loneliness? Where should we go when we despair of our future? Where should we go when we cannot figure out the meaning of our challenges? Where should we go when we reach the pinnacle of success yet find ourselves still empty? We should go home.
Jesus shared with His disciples a message which can change our lives. Whether we have run home many times or perhaps now for the first time, listen to Jesus as He shares with His followers in a time of great turmoil in their lives:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4You know the way to the place where I am going.”
5Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
23Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (John 14:1-7,23)