A Journey to Home
Recently, I’ve noticed a common theme in several of the things I’ve been reading. I find that there is a common quest in life among every human being; we are all looking for home. This seems to be common throughout history in every culture when we consider Biblical accounts like the prodigal son, literary quests like the Greek classic The Odyssey or J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. This commonality is also found in historic quests like the Israelites coming to the Promised Land, pilgrims in search of a “city on a hill,” pioneers heading west and more.
We all desire to discover a place, a landscape where we are at peace. I know this is true of my own life. We could describe it as a longing for peace, security, harmony, or contentment. These are elements that allow a person to prosper and live a productive fruitful life. I think all of these elements and more can be embodied in the idea of Home.
There are a lot of components to finding or making a home. Over these 40 days we will look at and examine them and in doing so create a space of understanding a little more about life and how we are to live. One aspect of home is that it is a place where we feel welcome and often it’s the best place we know to welcome others.
-to greet (someone) in a warm, hospitable, courteous and friendly manner
-to receive or accept (something) with happiness or pleasure
-to accept with pleasure the occurrence or presence of someone or something
Places can be welcoming. I believe Canterbury as a Retreat and Conference Center is a welcoming place. Armed with kindness, compassion, service, the staff seeks to make people feel welcomed and cared for when they come on the campus. We embrace people with a gentle concern for who they are and what they need.
People can be welcoming. I have many good friends, among them are Steve and Nancy Fry. They have an amazing gift of welcome that looks like this. Whenever I am with them they make me feel I am the most important person in the room. They eagerly engage me in conversation and want to catch up on all the details of my life. They make me feel comfortable and loved.
What can you do today to make your world (where you live, the place where you work, the classroom you attend) a more welcoming space? Consider the most welcoming places and the most welcoming people you know and ask yourself how can I become more like that.
Pat Leopold, Area Director-Man in the Mirror Ministries:
“For about 12 years now I’ve had the distinct opportunity to experience Canterbury Retreat & Conference Center. My first encounter was as the Principal of a local Christian school, bringing students over to Canterbury to experience God’s world in a beautiful setting, with numerous chances to witness wild life in action. The ending of the students’ time was always to focus on the cross on the lake…to see the beauty of God’s creation in the lake, talk about the power of God in and through the water and, of course, that our salvation is focused on the cross and what Christ did, is doing, and always will do for each and every one of us.
Over the years my role has changed, but Canterbury is still there providing the opportunity for all to grow in their relationship with our Lord and Savior. Whether it be a time of prayer, a workshop, a conference, or a Bible study, the setting is ripe for all to experience God in all things. These days, I have the opportunity of coming to a community Bible study each week. Since I get to arrive early, I walk part of the grounds – both for exercise and quiet time. It is extremely soothing to listen to nature early in the morning while talking with God – and listening for the answers He has in store for me! Quiet solitude amongst the city – that would be Canterbury for me!”
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