A few years ago my wife and I enjoyed a wonderful trip to California. We drove Pacific Coast Highway 1 - saw the beauty of the Pacific again and again from different vantage points along the way. We visited Santa Barbara, Malibu, Santa Monica - I was in Beach Boy heaven! What an amazing trip!
My wife lived her teen years in So Cal. Her Father was a Vice-Prez at Pepperdine University. She recalled her Saturday's going to Huntington Beach - the sun, the ocean, sights and sounds. We decided to go by and see the home where she lived during those years. We found the subdivision in the hills overlooking L.A. and located the street. I remember the look in her eye when she recognised the street - "It's right down this street - on the right - the last house." We drove down the street and found the house. Then came the shocking reality: it was not the last house on the street. As far as you could see in the hills and on the horizon were houses. To put it mildly, things had changed just a bit in 25 years. Hundreds of homes covered the hills with avenues and streets winding their way in every direction. The house itself was also very different. The new owners had added a second story and changed the landscaping so that the home of my wife's adolescent memories was barely identifiable.
This is the story of life in a snapshot. Things change and we sometimes lose our place.
We go to Florida pretty often these days. My dear Mother-in-law lives there in an assisted living center for people with Alzheimer's. She enjoys our visits but doesn't remember them. We laugh and talk about the past and sometimes get sad. Life has changed and she has lost her place. We expect that one day we will visit and she will not know us.
Being human is exciting and terrifying all at the same time. We experience so many amazing things in this life but we also sometimes lose our place. We even ask ourselves "Where do I belong now?"
Fredrick Buechner's book Longing for Home speaks to our longings when he says:
"No matter how much the world shatters us to pieces, we carry inside us a vision of wholeness that we sense is our true home and that beckons to us. "
Mother Teresa had this wonderful line she often repeated; "All the way to heaven is heaven."
She was reminding us that we must live now - enjoy now - know that now, where ever we are we are in our place and to live abundantly now.
I have found my place. Here. Now. And so I will live now, not just hope to live later.
All the way to heaven is heaven.
Just thinking, Steve