Later this week, I will be singing at a local talent show, and I have chosen to perform Carrie Underwood’s tear-jerker, “Temporary Home.” The song tells the story of three different people who have the same outlook on life. The six-year-old boy, the young mother, and old man all think of their time on earth as just a “stop on the way to where [they’re] going” and as merely a temporary home.
The message of the song is refreshing, and over the past few weeks, I have found myself contemplating the reality. Amidst all of the stress, grief, and loss in this world, it is often our mentality to focus on the here and now and become bogged down in circumstances that in the long-run are only temporary. Those of us who have salvation in Christ know that the things we face here on earth will never measure up to the glory we will experience in heaven. No trial or painful circumstance is so unbearable that it should ruin our perspective on eternity.
I’m so glad that my time here on earth is only temporary. I took notice of a song lyric recently that said something like, “We’re just visiting here in this world.” It conjures up images of a packed suitcase and a vacation away from home— an eternal home. If you think about it, our time here on earth is so brief, it must seem like God blinks and we will be home with Him in no time at all.
But until that day when we come into eternity, we must make the most of what we do here on earth. It is true that all good things must come to an end one day, but since we’re just passing through this world, everything begins to take on a new perspective. As I look back on my life thus far— the choices I made and people I encountered— I think about the times I had to say goodbye and move on. I looked forward to graduating from high school, but then I had to leave the home where I grew up to pursue an education. I had thought my college days would be lived out at Crown, but in the end, I decided to transfer to Dordt. I cried myself to sleep night after night while I wondered why I had decided to transfer in the first place. But then everything became clear as I received my diploma and published my first book.
But again, change would come, and I made the most of each circumstance. I moved out on my own, saying goodbye to the security of my family and taking a gigantic leap of faith. And then, just when I thought I would spend the rest of my life writing books and performing music, God took me down a road that I never saw coming. Within a two-year time period, I battled through illness and completed my Masters in Ministry Leadership. I said goodbye to my first humble home and relocated to a new residence, all in an effort to regain health and stability. All along the way, I was afraid to take the next step outside of my comfort zone: potentially leaving home to pursue that all-important first job.
But God provided for me, and now I am able to serve and do what I love here in my home town. I know my work at FRC isn’t a forever-guarantee; for all I know, it could be a temporary season. But knowing that there is much more to this life gives me the continued drive to keep moving forward. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).