I visited home this past weekend for my sister's baby shower. Georgia still feels like home, even though I’ve been married to Bryce and living in Kentucky for almost four months now. (My mom always said it takes four seasons for a place to become home). I’d been looking forward to the trip for a while...ready to connect with the people I know, who know me. Just your average, plain old case of homesickness.
There’s this expectation when you go home - or on vacation, or take the day off - that you will feel good. You will feel rested and cheerful. Homesickness will give way to comfort. Mind, body, and soul will find peace. But I always forget that my experience can be quite the opposite. When I go on vacation, I become anxious. When I retreat to the mountains with girlfriends, I worry about the things I say and do. When I sit to pray or to meditate, panicky restlessness comes into my chest.
I don’t mean that slowing down is categorically a difficult, burdensome thing. There is an easing, a spaciousness and some perspective. All this can be true at the same time, right? It’s just like sleeping. You fall asleep, your body and mind relax, and strange, horrible, wonderful dreams crop up. Talking snakes, invisible pants, lethargic tornadoes...
This weekend, as I found myself relaxing and reveling in the company of dear friends and family, I also found myself in the throws of insecurity. On my drive to Rome Sunday morning - for church at St. Peter’s and visits with friends - I “told myself stories” about why I am less than the people I love. Praise to the Spirit for that morning’s New Testament reading (below). It reminded me of the instruction to be glad for rather than jealous of people in their giftedness. In the body of Christ, there is no competition, only complement!
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgement, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.