Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.
I love going to new places, seeing new things. I love going to familiar places – like to Monterey. Although we’ve been there many times, each visit is refreshing, renewing, and always a source of novelty.
I love my time away from the work and the responsibilities. But I love to return home once again. I appreciate the peace I feel as I walk through an ancient redwood forest. I am in awe of the pounding waves against the rocky shoreline and the strength I find in that solitude.
But I am grateful for the comfort, solitude, and peace of home. Whatever peace I find in Nature, I also find at home. Whatever wonder and awe I have experienced in some remote locale, I also have felt at home.
Dorothy, played by Judy Garland, spoke those immortal words: “There’s no place like home.” Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz, went on to write: “If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with.”
Unlike Dorothy, it’s not that I go looking for my hearts desires when I go to Monterey or some other spot, although I think I could live in Pacific Grove. It’s that I like the change; I like the differences and contrasts. But ultimately, my soul rejoices as I arrive home. There is excitement in a homecoming, and after all, how can there be a ‘homecoming’ if we never leave home?
Now, we can talk about ‘home’ in many different regards, and I will mention a few in today’s talk. Many people think of home as a house, and that is great. Many men fall into this category.
Have you noticed that some men are better around the house than others? Me, not so much. I have a couple of primary tools I use, which include WD-40 and duct tape. I’ve discovered that if something doesn’t move as it should, use WD-40. If it moves, and it shouldn’t, use duct tape. It’s also critical to identify the issue: If I can’t fix it with a hammer, I have an electrical issue.
But sometime home can be more than a house. I like what Dennis Lehane wrote: … home is not a house - home is a mythological conceit. It is a state of mind. A place of communion and unconditional love. It is where, when you cross its threshold, you finally feel at peace.”
We’ve been to Pacific Grove so often that it has started to feel like ‘home’, like that place of communion and unconditional love. But not like our house ‘home’; more like a nature ‘home’.
Gary Snyder said: Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.
That’s how I feel about the ocean shoreline and the forests. I feel ‘at home’ in those locations … but don’t live there; so although I may feel ‘at home’, I’m not truly home.
It’s like when we go to someone’s house and they cordially offer to ‘make ourselves at home’. We can relax, take off our shoes, and put our feet up, but we don’t live there, so no matter how much we ‘make ourselves at home’, we are not home.
Pliny the Elder said this: “Home is where the heart is.” That is as true as it can get. I have found that no matter how much a place has to offer, it isn’t home. Still, if Mary went with me, no matter where we are, it is home.
Home is where we live, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and most importantly, spiritually. It’s not just a house. It is where our thoughts and feelings can express lazily, where the presence of the ones we love are near to us. Home is the memories of our childhood, the people we love, our favorite foods and music -- our favorite chair.
Home is where it all comes into harmony. Home is not a house, not a place, but an amalgamation of experiences, senses, people, feelings, that awaken us spiritually.
When we are awake spiritually, we are at home. When we feel the sweet presence of God wafting through our hearts, we are at home.
And there’s no place like home.
There are times when we feel lost; when we’ve been out and about so long that we yearn once again for the peace of home.
[Sing Homeward Bound]
We yearn for God; that love that lies waiting silently for each of us at home. It was Meister Eckhart who said: “God is at home, it's we who have gone out for a walk.”
Where do you live? Sometimes we forget. There are times when we get lost, and can’t seem to find our way home, like Dorothy in Oz. There are times when we get anxious, frustrated, and worried during our days. We don’t feel the comfort and security of home, even though we could be sitting in our favorite sofa. We are running and running in the dark after a home that continues to elude us.
Rumi said: “If light is in your heart you will find your way home.”
In his book, You Are Here, Thich Nhat Hanh suggests that we stop running and focus in the here and now, because that is where our life is. Life is here, right now. He offers this meditation: sit for a few moments and as we inhale say the words, “I have arrived.” As we exhale, say: “I am home.”
We are already home; we don’t need to run. Hahn says, “The address of my home is clear: life, here and now. Peace is something that becomes possible the moment you stop.”
When Dorothy stopped and clicked her heels together and spoke those words, she was in a sense stopping and saying, “I have arrived. I am home; I am at peace.”
When we make our home in the heart of Christ we can relax and know that all things are coming together for our good. When we find shelter in God, we perceive the world differently.
Isaiah 42:20 reads: “You have seen many things, but have paid no attention; your ears are open, but you hear nothing.”
Even though we occasionally relocate our physical home, when we have made our spiritual home in God, we have faith and affirm that all is well, right here and now. No matter where life takes us, home is with us in our heart, in the house of the Lord.
And this attitude can spread to our feelings to this globe. It is our home, and every soul that cohabitates with us is another beloved child of our Heavenly Father and Divine Mother. God wants us to stop being naughty children and feel the Presence, Love, Joy, and Peace, and Harmony of His house. We can stop and be still, and know that God is reaching out to us, calling us home spiritually.
Psalm 84:4 says: “Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise.”
But Spirit blesses us wherever we are and is blessing our physical homes right now. God blesses our own personal homes with love and each person living there. Divine wisdom illumines our minds. Divine life renews our bodies. Divine light directs our ways.
Christ blesses our homes by expressing through all who dwell there. Our thoughts are peaceful; our words are kind because divine love is a living reality in our midst.
Spirit blesses our homes so that all are open to Truth, which enriches our spiritual understanding and reveals the underlying pattern of perfection and oneness of life.
The Divine One blesses our homes by healing all those who live there. The love of Christ fills us with vitality, heals us, and opens our eyes to the beauty and wonder of everyday living. God blesses our homes, whether we mean physically, mentally, or spiritually.
It is my prayer that through the power of Christ, the good that we decree for our own homes we decree for every home in every land. For as Genesis 28:16 states: “Surely the Lord is in this place.” When we can internalize that thought, we feel the peace of home everywhere, because wherever we are, God is.