When you’re away from home, what person, thing, or place do you miss the most?
I’m not the type person that usually “misses” things. Of course, if I were away from my wife and girls I would obviously miss them. But, for the most part, for as long as I can remember, I have been an out of sight, out of mind type of person. I know this is not an endearing quality to most; but, it is the truth.
I am the type person who is comfortable where I am. It’s something of a home anywhere philosophy. Basically, wherever I am is home. I suppose for me, home is something more internal than a geographic location. Of course, I understand the importance of a locale; but, I don’t think it is the most essential thing.
Part of all this is being comfortable in your own skin and content with where you are and what you have. One of my majors in college was history, so I appreciate the importance and value of the past. I understand people longing for places and people . . . for home, especially if they lost that at a young age or through a tragedy.
For my part, the Lord blessed me. I had a happy childhood, surrounded by family and friends who loved me. I think that has enabled me to be the person I am.
Nostalgia can be a crippling thing at times. Nostalgia can be a kind of malaise by which the person has selective memory. Typically, things were never as good (or bad) as we may remember them; of course, as with most things, there are exceptions to this.
As a believer, I know that my home, ultimately, is on different soil. As the apostle Peter reminds me, I am a sojourner, journeying toward my real home. It is not escapism. It is not a license for irresponsibility in the here and now. As the old hymn says, this is our Father’s world. We, as Christians, should be mindful and thoughtful for God’s creation and good stewards of it.
J. R. R. Tolkien once wrote, not all who wander are lost. (I would also assert: Not all who wonder are confused!) I have always been a wanderer (a wonderer too!). A wanderer especially in mind and thought. I relate to Peter’s language of a sojourner, a nomad, a wanderer, a stranger in a strange land.
Sometimes I am too big picture focused that I miss the details. I am not a detail person. As with most things, there are strengths and weaknesses to this. I flourish in ideas and expansive landscapes and distant horizons. I feel at home and alive beneath the massive canopy of a star-filled night sky, standing ankle deep in the roaring surf of the northern Atlantic, gazing ahead to the snow-capped tops of mountain peaks, flying high above the earth in a crystal blue sky . . . do I feel small in the presence of such grandeur? Yes. But, paradoxically, I feel free and significant. I feel within my element. In short, I feel at home. I do not shirk back from such things; in fact, I run toward them and embrace them. I think this may be a contributor to my home is where I am mentality. I am a searcher and I am always looking and stretching myself. This is where I am comfortable, this is my home.
If you want to know about the forest, then I am your guy. If you want to know the particulars of the individual trees, it would be best to find another guide.
What do I miss when I am away from home? In a real sense, I don’t know . . . I have never felt as though I were.