[Please note: ACIM passages quoted in this article reference the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) Edition.]
For the first time in many, many summers, I am not going home. Home is Sudbury, a city in Northern Ontario, where I was born, and grew up, and went almost every summer of my adult life. I have lived in many different places, even in different countries, but Sudbury has always been “home.” Not going home this summer has brought up a lot of emotion for me, and I have been grieving and feeling a deep sense of loss.
Home is familiar; it’s where I still feel I belong and am at ease, and where I know my way around. It’s where I know and am known. It’s picking blueberries on our family’s blueberry hill, swimming in the lake, visiting long-time friends, buying the best bread in the world from a small family-run bakery, going to the market and seeing the same farmers year after year.
Yesterday, in the midst of this I was guided to practice Lesson 226, “My home awaits me. I will hasten there.” I really enjoyed practicing it, especially making the prayer a part of every practice period:
Father, my home awaits my glad return. Your Arms are open and I hear Your Voice. What need have I to linger in a place of vain desires and of shattered dreams, when Heaven can so easily be mine
I made no more of it until this morning when I was guided to Lesson 200, “There is no peace except the peace of God,” a lesson I had just done a couple of days earlier. I was a bit puzzled about why I had been given this lesson again, and then, as I read it, I realized exactly what it was for. It was offering me the same idea that appeared in Lesson 226: changing my mind about the purpose of the world and no longer seeing value in it, so that I might escape it and find freedom. It was talking about coming home! Then I remembered that in our Wednesday Text class, I had talked to the group about what I call the “Coming Home” Sequence (from the real world to the second coming to the last judgment and then to the final step). Obviously the Holy Spirit was trying to communicate something to me about home!
As I sat with it, I recalled Lesson 182, “I will be still and instant and go home,” and then I saw the connection: My happiness does not lie in going home to my childhood home, but in coming home to God. It’s not about going home to some place outside me, some place in the world, but coming home to that place of the peace of God in me and, ultimately, to my home in Heaven.
I am grateful to the Holy Spirit for knowing that I needed these important lessons and directing me to them. They have turned me around. I still would like to be going back to Sudbury this summer, but I no longer have the strong emotional attachment to it or feel any sense of loss.
Heaven is the home that is really familiar to me. This is where I truly belong and am at ease, where I know my way around, and where I know and am known. This is where I can breathe again “the holy air that fills [my] Father’s house” (182.5:4). This is the home to which I desire “so deeply, so unceasingly” to return (182.5:3). It has nothing to do with blueberries and bread or anything else I value back in Sudbury–or anywhere else in the world!