Going Home

(Originally written in February, 2007)

Do you travel a lot for your business or profession?  Do you remember what it feels like to come home after a long vacation? Has your job or the military ever taken you away from your family for months or even years? Have you ever lived in a house or a community for years, yet never felt at home? Have you been thankful to land at your city’s airport, return to your home, and finally get to sleep in your own bed again? If these questions bring fond memories to you, then you will identify with my story of returning home.  Those of us in leadership in the business world travel more and have a much more mobile lifestyle than most average people in the workplace.  This allows us to visit many beautiful places, but it makes our homes even more important.

The last couple of years my job has taken me overseas at least three times a year and across our nation many times during the year.  A few weeks ago when we returned from vacation, it felt good just to sleep in our own bed, even though it meant returning to work.  My wife and I moved six times during our four years in the military and that included a year in Vietnam for me. We have only lived in three houses for the last thirty five years, including twenty five years in our current home. A few years ago, while decorating for the holidays, we were informed that our house would have to be torn apart literally and immediately due to black mold damage. The insurance company had to repair forty percent of the house, so we decided to remodel all of it. A “couple of months” project turned into seven months. So, after being comfortable for years, we became pilgrims living in family members’ homes and finally moving to a small apartment.  My travel schedule of the last few years reminded me of those months.

During that experience I had started a new job, traveled constantly, prepared a book for a publisher, and spoke twenty times. Since I had left all the resources in my study at our house, I had only a few sets of notes, my Bible, and a blank legal pad.  After each of our trips, we returned “home” to the apartment, but never really felt comfortable. We learned quickly how to adapt to new circumstances, but we felt like travelers visiting a foreign land. Although Davidene and I lead a busy life (some would say frantic), before that situation we had always had our home as a place of peace and restoration. Suddenly we only had a temporary abode. It was still better than most people in the world, but we had been spoiled by our large American houses.  After seven months of surviving, we finally moved back home. Even though the boxes were still unpacked, I got to sleep peacefully in my own bed for the first time in months.

That experience taught me to travel light, to not get too dependent on things, and to appreciate the comforts of home. But I believe that God was teaching me a bigger lesson. As a follower of Jesus Christ I am not to become too comfortable in this world, because I am just a pilgrim here for but a short time. I should become less and less dependent on the material things and activities of this world and become more dependent on Him. My possessions, positions, work, ministry, finances, plans and even relationships are all to be secondary to my focus on Him and the eternal. My entire lifetime (now 60 years) is but a moment in all of eternity with Him.

When Jesus prayed for His disciples and for us in John 17, He stated, “They are not of this world”. Hebrews 11:13 says that they “died in the faith . . . having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.” In 1 Peter 2:11 we are referred to as “pilgrims” or “aliens”. And Joseph reminded his family of God’s promise to return to their homeland in Genesis 50:24. Do you feel like a pilgrim, exile, sojourner, or alien in a foreign land?  Well, you should!  Just because God has given you responsibility for multiple assets in the marketplace, do not get so attached to the physical.  God wants us to have our focus on both the temporal and the eternal.  As each year goes by, as loved ones go to heaven, as we see the futility of possessions, and as our health deteriorates, we should long more to be in Heaven with Him. That’s our true home!

Changing my Focus,

Kent Humphreys


About kenthumphreys
Kent Humphreys has been a business leader for over forty years. He also served as CEO of FCCI/Christ@Work for six years and now serves as their worldwide ambassador, speaking, writing, and mentoring young leaders. He continues to be active in distribution, private equities, and real estate. Kent and his wife Davidene have written six books together. They have three children and eight grand-children.

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