As American, I think the points of the compass have a certain “feel” in our collective subconscious. For instance, north means cold and south means warm. What about east and west? East feels like old, established, tradition. West feels like new and adventure.
Traveling the country for eight months has cemented these feelings for me. The further east we went, the older everything got. A sense of tradition and history permeated the air. Driving toward the birthplace of our nation felt strangely like heading Home.
But as we took a left turn at Maine, dropping down to St. Louis then vaguely following Lewis and Clark’s path, I could feel the adventure of heading “out west.” It was easy to imagine its wildness to the early settlers.
Here is where it gets interesting for me – my family’s actual home is in the west, nearly as far west as one can go in the continental United States. The net effect was that going home felt like an adventure.
In one sense, that’s not surprising. We sold our house when we left and I don’t have a job, so coming home really is an adventure (prayers for guidance are welcome!).
But the sense of homecoming as an adventure has an even deeper meaning. Heaven will be the Great Adventure, not a place to sit around but where we’ll be entrusted with greater challenges than we can now imagine. Yet it will also be our Real Home, where we really belong. It will be our true Sabbath.
Somehow, this westward trip home help me understand heaven as both adventure and rest. Not completely, but enough that I’m more eager for it than ever.