The lyrics of the John Denver song that rang through my head were, “Oh, it’s good to be back home again.”
Visiting friends and family and friends that are more like family to us than just friends is great. We got to work through a couple of our ‘bucket list’ items. We saw a dinner show that was just for entertainment. We had the pleasure of worshipping in our son and daughter-in-laws’ church in Middlesboro, Ky.
We got to see the grand opening of a dream center that’s been a long time coming in Memphis. We got to see a musical revue where our other son was both the musical director and the piano player for the performance.
We strolled along the pier and waterfront in Long Beach. We saw many wonderful sights, but there was none prettier than the blinking lights and snow-capped peaks as our plane approached Kodiak.
The downside of traveling for me is sleeping in beds other than my own and living out of a suitcase. The world travelers can keep that without any regrets from me. We slept in eight different hotels in less than three weeks — one of them twice.
After driving rental cars I could never afford to own, it’s also comforting to have to ‘adjust’ to driving the vehicles assigned to us here in Kodiak.
It’s nice to be back where a ‘traffic jam’ is three cars arriving simultaneously at the three-way stop on Mill Bay. On the California freeways, we came to a complete stop in traffic that had five lanes in each direction. I won’t miss that.
As we returned to our work schedule this week and I found comfort in the familiar, I began to wonder if this was a good thing or a bad thing. The Apostle Paul reminds us that we might find comfort in suffering for it was the same for our Savior. But what about finding comfort in our comfort? If all that we do and all that we live is comfort, where is the sacrifice?
As Salvation Army Officers, my wife and I give up many things. We give up permanence as our appointment system moves us around from time to time, although we have had much greater stability in that area that most Officers. We give up time with family as we are separated by all these many miles. We give up time and schedule as we are much more subject to the ‘tyranny of the urgent’ than most people, and we are never ‘off-duty’. We give up our identities as we die to self and live for Christ. But for all that we give up, we are also given much.
We have a place to lie our heads at night that’s warm and dry. We have a reasonable security in employment. We have vehicles to drive that we are not financially accountable for. We have never gone hungry or homeless.
Jesus said, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
Jesus calls us to follow Him. My greatest comfort has nothing to do with home or food or family. My greatest comfort is knowing that I am where God has called me to be and doing His work every day. No matter where we are or who we are, if we are living our lives in surrender to His will, we are in Paradise.
Maj. John Quinn is head of the Salvation Army in Kodiak. He writes a weekly column on religion for the Kodiak Daily Mirror. Past columns can be found online at www.kodiakdailymirror.com.