Yesterday I congratulated an athlete for his first-place finish at a track meet. I said that I had just read about his performance the previous day in our local newspaper. He looked a little puzzled. I said, “In the Uf Da Tournament.”
“Uh, that was a while back.”
Yeah, like a month ago. My timing tends to be a bit off.
Yesterday morning, I read a couple of articles in Sports Illustrated (the one two issues back so I’m not too far behind) that ended with the word “home.”
Writing on the life of a college basketball recruiter, Bruce Schoenfield concluded with these words: “He calls the Huskies’ travel agent, asks her to cancel his hotel and change his flight, then grabs his bag and drops his key card on the bed. He’s heading home” (“The Spectacular Life of a College Basketball Recruiter,” Sports Illustrated, May 16, 2011, p. 68).
I flipped the page and read “Spellbound by Seve,” a Joe Posnanski piece recognizing the life and death of Spanish golfer Seve Ballesteros.
He writes: “Seve Ballesteros died last Saturday from a brain tumor. He was 54 years old. All his too-short life, he did not fear trouble. Why would he? Ballesteros could see the openings others could not see. He could always find his way home.”
Two articles a page apart shared a common ending. One alludes to a physical place, the other to the hope of a hereafter. The human heart’s longing for a place of acceptance and welcome isn’t restricted to scriptural references and stain-glassed worship experiences. Even a sports magazine’s pages hum with a note of yearning for HOME.
Scripture shapes my understanding of HOME and raises some important issues. As I thought about Posnanski’s column and his final words about Seve Ballesteros, I mulled over a particular issue raised in the Bible.
We all hope for something better. The words of my Elder Brother Jesus offer something better. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms…” (John 14:1-2a). That’s great news.
But the troubling thought for me deals with other things my Elder Brother said—words about choice and direction in life, which determine my final destination beyond this world. Here are some specifics.
1) Heaven is for real (have to do a review of the book sometime soon).
2) But so is hell.
3) Everyone is invited to go HOME.
4) But not everyone arrives there.
I appreciate Joe Posnanski’s sentiments concerning Seve Ballesteros, who sounds like a guy I would have loved to sit down and talk with. I have no idea if Seve found the WAY HOME or not. But Joe’s article raised thoughts about HOME, both comforting and troubling, and now I’m sharing them with you.
Question: What do you think about people’s ultimate destination beyond this life?