Belonging Day 21: On Belonging to Another World

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From the outside looking in, those of us who base our lives on the words and actions of Jesus and his Word look foolish, different; we stand out. Our relationships and sense of belonging are challenged by the way our choices differ from the norms of this world. As believers, we will have many situations in this life where we’ll look different than those around us because this world, though is has a lot to offer, isn’t our home.

A family member doesn’t understand your excitement about a ministry opportunity.

A friend questions the way you parent your children.

A co-worker thinks you’re a religious fanatic.

An acquaintance keeps you at a distance, because, well…you’re different.

The media paints you in cliches.

The coach benches your kid for your commitment to a Sunday morning Sabbath.

The girls don’t understand “why you’ve changed.”

Someone treats you differently after you make a big life decision in faith over pragmatism.

It’s so painful to be misunderstood. Our nature is to belong, to have people affirm us for who we are and what we value. But often times, by choosing to walk the way that Jesus did, to be a Christ follower, we absolutely do not belong. Not to this world.

Today I loaded up the van and traveled back to Michigan to tie up some loose ends. It’s good to be here but I can already feel my sense of where I belong has shifted to my new town in a new state. It’s not that I didn’t leave many dear people behind here, it’s that I’ve already begun building a life somewhere else, somewhere I feel called to be. And my allegiance is to where I see my future.

We can give up feeling at home in this world, knowing that every other thing the culture holds dear is less than what we’re holding out for- another, more glorious, world. A coming kingdom where our citizenship lies.

There’s an old Caedmon’s Call song called This World that says,

This world has nothing for me.

And this world has everything.

All that I’ve wanted.

And nothing that I need.

This. Here.  This is not our world. Don’t be surprised when it doesn’t treat you like you belong, because you don’t. You’ll be home soon.

 

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