This holiday season, many families are traveling home….home to family or friends.  Even traveling to favorite vacation spots to just be together alone (quite an oxymoron, I know!).

Traveling home brought me to wonder how many of us have found, upon returning to our hometown or driving through our childhood neighborhood, that the place is just not the same?

Even when driving around the town or city in which you presently live, you probably find areas you may not have been by in a couple months and something entirely different appears before you.   Or maybe a building or house that had been there for years is now gone; or an area that at one time had the newest and nicest buildings has only run-down relics.

While driving through such an area of my hometown, I saw many older homes that had been large mansions at their creation.  The area once contained the best neighborhoods of the town.  In fact, many of the houses were architectural masterpieces, boasting huge columned front porches and castle-like, turret-styled upper windows overlooking massive front lawns.

At one time the yards were filled with lush flower gardens; some were held in place with rock retaining walls.  Now weeds filled the raised beds, and stones spilled onto parts of the lawns or sidewalks.

Some of the structures had even been condemned.  They had long passed the point where remodeling or reconstruction could save them.

That drive sparked the thought of how often people’s lives are like those homes.  In our attempt to grasp what we distortedly view as important, we focus on the wrong things.  When we allow ourselves to be caught up exclusively in the seemingly urgent and pressing needs of erecting homes and businesses, we find the only rewards we have are short-lived.

Within simply a few years, buildings have need of repair and often extensive remodeling may be desired.  Constant work goes into keeping our earthly homes in a safe, esthetically pleasing condition.  If we are not careful, this effort can leave us with little time to work on the things pertaining to our eternal home.

As you gather with loved ones, consider the fleeting nature of our homes on earth.  They provide shelter, warmth, a feeling of love, and a tangible asset, for the most part.  But it doesn’t hurt to turn our thoughts to the permanent home we will someday inhabit.  How much better is it to concentrate on Jesus and the place He is preparing for us in heaven (John 14:2)?  That is a dwelling place that “neither moth nor rust” can corrupt or make crumble in disrepair (Matt. 6:20).

Maybe we need to drive through old neighborhoods more often.  Maybe we need to be reminded that only eternal valuables transfer into eternity.

by Cindy Best

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