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Tom Scotus

The World Isn't My Home

Flickr Image by: JpellgenI don’t feel as comfortable around other people as I used to. One reason is that they are constantly misunderstanding me. The other day at a family gathering, I said that parents treat each of their children differently. My father-in-law said, "Not me. I didn’t do that. I loved my children the same and treated them the same." I emphasized that I didn’t say that parents necessarily love one child more or treat one child better but that they treat each child differently, just as we treat the various people we know somewhat differently. He started to get upset, "Don’t say that to me again! I’ve always treated my children the same!"

The other reason is that, too often, I allow myself to be vulnerable. Once, I was on a strict deadline for a newsletter and I couldn’t get the laser printer to work. I tried everything, but nothing helped. Finally, I prayed and it worked. I felt excited about this and told another Christian. "Did you lay hands on it?" she sarcastically replied.

The final reason is that the world has contempt for the things of God, and I am bored by most of the things that interest most people. Jesus said, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head" (Matthew 8:20). To me, Jesus was saying: "The world is not my home. I am not comfortable or happy here. I long for heaven." Jesus was responding to a man who wanted to be his disciple. Jesus seemed to be warning him. He seemed to be saying, "It won’t be easy to follow me. You will no longer ‘fit in’ with the world. You will no longer get satisfaction or comfort from the world. Are you sure you want to take this step and become like me?"

Before I decided to follow Jesus, I loved the world, because I was a child of the world. I never had any trouble making friends, and I felt comfortable around them because I was like them. I really enjoyed their company. Now, it seems that there is a growing disconnect between others and me. Part of my solution has been to make God-fearing friends, but they are rare in this neo-pagan age. What to do?

I believe that ultimately true Christians can only find their solace in God. God Himself must become their comfort and joy. God calls Christians to forsake "the world, the flesh and the devil" but part of us wants to hold onto these things. The world will only completely accept us if we abandon God, and God will only completely accept us if we abandon the spirit of world. It is our choice to make.