TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Editorials

June 16, 2014

Going Home

CORBIN — The Rev. John Burkhart  Ph.D, is a retired Episcopal priest and professor of  psychology

jandmburkhart@yahoo.com blog at inspirationsandideas

I’ve always enjoyed the Trane ad (advertising their Heating/AC units) — “It’s hard to stop a Trane.” In much the same way, it is hard to stop change in every aspect of earthly existence.

My wife, Milly, came back the other day from visiting her home community of Harlan. Forty years makes a big difference in the town and its people. She said that walking around town was like walking in a strange place. The established buildings and businesses she so dearly remembers were gone. She feels her home town is no longer. The town has moved on, never to return to what it was. The comfort and familiarity so cherished from childhood are not to be found. The good old days are but nostalgic memories.

Earthly things move on, never to remain the same — be it our hometown or our neighbors, friends, relations, parents, children and spouse…and even ourselves eroded by age.

Perhaps the big problem is our tendency to not look at reality; not seeing far enough ahead at the inevitable and absolute changes that are underway. On a day-to-day basis, these things seem to appear unchanging and forever more. We are easily deceived.

I am always humored by the banking and investment firms touting their investment plans called “securities;” connoting a message of permanent and endless wealth. Good health and the good times of progress and prosperity are prone to make us nearsighted; giving us a message, “what can stop this rolling train of health, happiness and success?”

The term “naiveté” comes to mind as described by the dictionary, “showing a lack of experience, judgment or information.” Looking at my life it is quite apparent that I easily forget that all I do and am in my earthly pursuits are temporary; and I observe I am not alone.

How many times Jesus pleads with us to acquire the only permanent  possession — “Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted”…[Luke 12:33]

So enthralled and tantalized by earth’s possessions and pleasures, we can readily create in our minds the fantasy of being permanent residents of earth; which has never happened to any of the countless billions who have lived before us.

Yes, I show “lack of experience, judgment and information” anytime I look upon anyone or anything (even my hometown) as if it were here to stay. None of us can go home again, but hopefully we all daily invest in our real and permanent home — Heaven.

 

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