Home

“They say home is where the heart is, but my heart is wild and free…
So am I homeless, or am I just heartless?”

Being an adventurous spirit often leads to interesting dilemmas. Such as: Where am I supposed to call home? I spent less than 3 years in the home my family lives in now, I spent nearly more time at college than in that house, and the home I spent half of my life in is now 10 years removed.

It’s an odd feeling. Being uncertain of where home is supposed to be is a struggle.

This last week, I had the opportunity to visit Clarks Summit University, my alma mater. On the way up there I grew excited. I missed college,  and I figured that spending a few days on campus would go a long way towards taking care of that problem. Over the course of the week, I realized I was wrong. Not because I didn’t enjoy my time. Not because I didn’t get to spend moments with friends. Rather, because the thing I missed most about college couldn’t be found there anymore. Although I’d missed the campus and the college environment, what I missed most was the people… And like me, they’d graduated and gone on to wherever God called them.

Sometimes, its easy to take a step back and be frustrated over these realizations. I’d certainly love to be back doing life in the same fashion that I was as a college student, but those days are gone, and they can’t be replicated. I’ll never be an 18 year old kid attempting to figure out life alongside of my friends.

Essentially, what this trip taught me was that college wasn’t my home. But home isn’t a location. Home isn’t a building, a place, or even a state (though Ohio is about as close as it could get in my mind). Home is anywhere we go, where people are there to love, encourage, and truly care for us. Sometimes is overwhelming to consider the fact that there isn’t necessarily a location that is “home,” but it is also incredibly comforting to consider that as long as I’m surrounded by people who love me, I’ll always have a home.

When 8th Grade Guys Make Me A Better Man

This last Sunday, I had the opportunity to go out to lunch at Taco Bell with two of my 8th grade guys. (Yes, Taco Bell. If that surprises you, I’d say you don’t truly know me.)

We were having a great time. We had talked about our lives, how God had worked in our hearts, the delicious burritos that we were consuming, and about the upcoming events at our church. As we finished eating, we cleaned up our table, threw away our trash, and began to make our way out to my car. While we were walking out, the boys taken interest in something that I hadn’t concerned myself with. Right outside the Taco Bell, a young college-aged guy was out holding a sign for one of the local businesses. As the guys noticed him, one of them turned to me and asked a question: “Can we invite him to church next week?” It was a simple question, and nearly as simple as a task… but for some reason, one I did not feel a particular draw to do. It challenged me. Walking up to a stranger and striking up a conversation when it was outside of the routine was odd and I almost dismissed it.

In my mind, whenever I would invite someone to church or talk with someone about God, it would be in the vein of a conversation that occurred naturally, not one that I would have to go out of my way to begin… But these two 8th grade guys were earnest about the idea of sharing our church and our faith with the young man on the street corner.

My heart had lost some of the bold earnest nature in sharing the Gospel. It had grown lax in its evangelism, because I didn’t want to be troubled to go out of my way to share Christ. It was a blind spot and one that I hadn’t recognized. It took two middle school guys who are passionate about their faith and are longing to see people come to Jesus to make me see that this past week.

That’s how working with 8th Graders makes me a better man.