“The story begins on an afternoon when Edmund and Lucy were stealing a few precious moments alone together. And of course they were talking about Narnia, which was the name of their own private and secret country. Most of us, I suppose, have a secret country, but for most of us it is only an imaginary country. Edmund and Lucy were luckier than other people in that respect. Their secret country was real. They had already visited it twice; not in a game or a dream but in reality. They had got there of course by Magic, which is the only of getting to Narnia. And a promise, or very nearly a promise, had been made them in Narnia itself that they would some day get back.”
I don’t know about you, but at the start of a new year I think to myself ‘I’m going to read my bible more’, or ‘I’m going to commit to reading a daily devotional’, or make some other commitment, which I know, months, weeks, maybe even days down the line, I fall out of practice on. I allow life to get in the way. But this year, I really am going to strive to commit to reading a daily devotional to aid my quiet time, and for that I am following ‘A year with Aslan’ – reflections on the well-known, and much-loved Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis. And that is how I find myself here once more… Thinking aloud. Sharing my heart.
Today’s reading was the one I have quoted above, from the first chapter of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I love Lewis, and I love the stories of Narnia, but I must confess, I have never sat down and read them all start to finish (maybe that will be one of my other commitments this year!) I have a deep connection with these stories though, and Lewis’ writings have a beautiful way of resonating with my heart.
As I read this little snippet this afternoon, I started to think about ‘home’, and our need for it. I moved house a few months ago, and though I have moved quite a few times in the last 5 years, this move was different. I left behind my family ‘home’, and made a new ‘home’ with my husband. We moved to Wallasey – miles away from our families, a good distance away from the majority of our close friends, and moved into a new community, a new church, a completely new life (in some respects). And this took some adjusting to.
I have always had a need for home. I love things that are familiar, that are comfortable, that are safe. Ask me to step out of that, and I’m immediately apprehensive. And yet I have had to do that several times over the last year… So why did I do it? Well the simple answer is that God called me. Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t easy at times, and I wasn’t always willing and obedient to follow that call, but something deep inside me knew I had to go, that I had to move, that I had to find a new place called ‘home’. Something Calum and I have come to realise over the last few months, is that, much like Jesus (and his disciples) in the gospel stories, our calling is going to take us away from things that are familiar, things that are comfortable and safe for us. Jesus asked his disciples to leave their families, to leave their jobs, to leave their homes; all to follow him.
As I think about that, I think about the fact, that no matter where we go, no matter how familiar, comfortable or safe we may feel, we are never really ‘home’. The very thought of it, as I sit here writing makes my heart skip a beat. But the truth is, we were made for somewhere else. All that we have here is temporary. For those of us who have chosen to follow the call of God, our hearts have a different heartbeat – a heartbeat that beats for heaven, a heartbeat that beats for home. And that heartbeat should be the rhythm of our lives. Our lives should reflect that heart that has been placed within us. And once we’ve grasped that, we can truly feel at ‘home’ wherever we may find ourselves because as the famous saying goes ‘home is where the heart is’, and our heart is with God.