Friday, November 18, 2011

Welcome Home?

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and today after my Greek class I drove from Chicago back to my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.  Tonight as I was driving from my parents house to meet my sister at our local theater for the Breaking Dawn midnight premier, I kept noticing things that were different.  I was surprised  that a road the city had been working on for the past few years finally got finished.  I was shocked that my favorite rock radio station now is a sports radio talk station.  And really, when did the 24 hour donut shop turn into a Cash-for-Gold store? My hometown was suddenly not looking so familiar.  I didn't realize that three months away could makes such a big difference, and I started wondering if I could still call Cleveland "home".   Then, all of the sudden, as I was channel surfing for a new radio station to replace my old fave, I heard a familiar voice.  Before beginning seminary, I was a director of a church, and one of my parishioners is a local DJ.  Hearing his laugh bubble through the speakers of my car reminded me of the last day I saw him.  He said, "Not everyone can do what you're doing.  It seems awfully hard to become a pastor.  But I can tell what God sees in you, and know the work will be worth it." This seminary business is tricky stuff.  Not only do we leave our homes and our families, be we put our old selves behind us in pursuit of loving God's kingdom.  Maybe tonight the change that was the real surprise is that the  change in myself is as noticeable as a donut shop selling wedding rings instead of coffee.   In the surprise of change, there is one thing that remains constant - that God loves and provides for me, like when he reached out to me through a familiar voice wafting through my radio.   It is good to be home.  

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