Two birds . . . taken from their nest and brought to unknown lands thousands of miles away remarkably find their way back home. One travels 1,000 miles in 14 days and one travels 3,000 miles in 12 days. Scientists (ornithologists specifically) call this the homing instinct and have been studying it for decades. And it is not just birds, this homing instinct is seen in whales, turtles, cats, and even . . . snails. Sounds, smells, landmarks and even internal ‘magnets’ that point north have all been studied and prove to play a role in animals’ ability to find their way home.
We even find this homing instinct in the Bible. Think about it. What did Noah send out from the ark to determine if there was dry land? A dove.
In case you were wondering, humans don’t have the same ability . . . at least not at the same level as our animal counterparts. Which explains why I can’t drive around the corner without using the Waze app. Joking aside, we are all born with the desire for home. We all have a place we want to go to when things seem a little out of control . . . where we can find some peace and sense of normalcy.
Again, we see this at play in the Bible . . . where did the prodigal son turn when he found himself sharing his meal with the pigs? Home.
Now here’s the honest part: that place of peace or normalcy may not always be healthy for us. It may be a bottle of something, a website, an old girlfriend or a group of friends who won’t keep us from doing something we might regret. When things are spiraling out of control, those are often the solutions that make the most sense to us. In the moment, we aren’t looking for a peace that passes all understanding . . . we’re just looking for a little peace.
But as Jesus-followers, we know there is more. We’ve all heard about the ‘God-shaped hole’ each of us. As Augustine put it, “our hearts are restless until we find rest in Him.” Pascal describes it as an infinite abyss that can only be filled by God Himself. Paul writes about it in Philippians 4:12-13: “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
As Jesus-followers, we know the pull of our Home. Our homing instinct brings us back to the foot of the cross where we can find a peace that passes all understanding. As our friend John Lynch wrote in On My Worst Day, Home is a place where we are . . .
“. . . adored, enjoyed, clean, righteous, absolutely forgiven, new, acceptable, complete, chosen, able, intimately loved, smiled upon, planned for, protected, continually thought about, enjoyed, cared for, comforted, understood, known completely, given all mercy, compassion, guarded, matured, bragged on, defended, valued, esteemed, held, hugged and caressed, kissed, heard, honored, in unity with, favored, enough, on time, lacking nothing, directed, guided continually, never failed, waited for, anticipated, part of, belonging, never alone, praised, secure, safe, believed, appreciated, given all grace, all patience, at peace with, pure, shining, precious, cried over, grieved with, strengthened, emboldened, drawn kindly to repentance, relaxed with, never on trial, never frowned at, never hit with a two-by-four, at rest in, receiving complete access, given gifts, given dreams, given new dreams, continually healed, nurtured, carried, never mocked, never punished, most of my humor enjoyed, not behind, not outside, given endless affection.
It doesn’t always much feel like it in the moment. This is the depth of His love, whether you or I feel we deserve it or not. ‘Deserve’ has long ago left the building.”
Scripture: When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. (Luke 15:20)
Mentor Tip: One of the most powerful things you can share with your mentees is how they are viewed in God’s eyes. In a world where we are constantly competing and comparing it is easy to assign worldly values to our performance which often leave them feeling beat up and not worthy.
Breathe New Life Into Your Discipleship
Small group mentoring can help you engage your people, build your core group of leaders, and transform your church. Our free resources equip you with all the tools you need to launch a sustainable mentoring program.