I borrowed my mom’s car the other day and, because I don’t like messing with the radio, listened to the Christian radio station on my errands. I don’t mind the upbeat music normally and this trip was no different.
Until the song Where I Belong by Building 429 came on. As I listened to the lyrics, I became sadder and sadder. This is how they view our precious life on this earth?!
The chorus goes:
All I know is I’m not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong
When Bea is mad, she often yells, Fine!! I don’t want to live here anymore!!!! Usually at this stage in our interaction, I’m more than ready to help her find an alternative living situation. In reality, I tell her that we love her and that her home is here, with us. No matter how frustrating life feels.
There seems to be a lot of fear these days – fear of others taking things from us: our jobs, our guns, our religion. We want protection.
In this fight or flight mentality of fear, it’s easy to want to run away. Since Canada isn’t really an option, heaven seems as good a choice as any.
Life is hard. I don’t want to engage. This isn’t my home anyway – I’m just waiting for heaven!
I want to sit down with Building 426 and ask for more. Surely they aren’t really asking us to disconnect.
I do believe we’re home. This earth was created for us and as long as we humans view it only as a pit stop, we’ll treat it as such: A means to an end. Rather than an incredible place for us to live and thrive, we’re treating this amazing creation as no more than a concrete picnic bench on a long highway.
I do believe this is where we belong. I believe that when we recognize our place in creation, it’s hard to ignore injustice or truly believe that we aren’t meant to care right now, in this time and place.
When the lyrics say Take this world and give me Jesus, who are we giving the world to? Take it from whom? I believe God gave us this world – how we care for it and cultivate it and respect it is a reflection of our values. I don’t think Jesus wants us to give this world “back.” I think he came to redeem and restore this earth.
It makes me sad to think of people listening and humming along to this catchy song. Perhaps they aren’t picking it apart now, but the next time a politician doesn’t reflect their own worldview or a news story laments the systemic injustices in our world and country, a go-to response is that we don’t really belong here anyway. Why care too much?
I think we need to care more! I think we really need to look at the commandments that Jesus gave – to love our neighbor; to live in an upside-down mentality where the poor are the greatest and the last are first; to recognize that kingdom living isn’t measured by the normal standards of health and wealth but by a completely different set of standards, where people care for strangers and outcasts.
As Christians, rather than seeing the brokenness of the world and, like a preschooler yelling, Fine! I don’t want to live here anymore! perhaps we need to actually consider what it means to walk like Jesus, to live a life of justice and mercy and kindness. To be an active part of redemption and restoration rather than hoping that God somehow magically takes care of things or gives the world back, as if there’s a benevolent return policy on faulty civilizations.
Especially during this election season, my hope and prayer is that we remember that our home is here. We are not passive players, nor are we called to outsource our beliefs to government leaders. It is our job to live out the kingdom, to recognize our own part in changing this world.
What’s your view of heaven? Do you think it’s a place we go after death or is it a restoration of this current earth? Does this shape the way you interact with this earth?