I’m going home tomorrow.

I’m going home tomorrow.

Tomorrow marks two whole months of living in this foreign land of Santiago, Chile.

My last five posts have been about “living for Jesus lessons” that this trip has stirred up in my heart. I have a few more lessons I could share from this trip that may come later, but the thought I just can’t release from my mind today is, “I’m going home tomorrow.”

My how time flies.

Speaking of flies, there are 4 questions that have been buzzing around my heart like flies in light of this “I’m going home tomorrow” truth:

#1 Am I ready to go?

#2 What do I look forward to the most?

#3 What was my purpose for being here?

#4 Do I have any regrets?

You know where I’m going with this, don’t you? I hope it’s not too cliché, and I hope it’s not too forced. It’s actually a truth I call upon frequently, and now it’s calling me out even louder.

This world is not our home. If Jesus is our Lord, we are citizens of Heaven.

Hebrews 13:14 For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. (NLT)

Today, I find myself comparing this very short trip to a foreign land with the short-compared-to-eternity trip called life that we spend on Earth.

#1 Am I ready to go?

My Earthly Home

Customs authorities will be asking me questions before they “let me in” to my homeland. Is my passport up-to-date? Do I have any unapproved items with me? If I haven’t taken the action of buying a legit plane ticket, or if I try to enter with items they’ve clearly stated they will not allow, they have the authority to not let me in.

My Heavenly Home

Almost daily, I picture myself standing before my Savior in Heaven, longing to hear Him say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Have I taken the action of receiving His grace – the only legit ticket available?

I don’t imagine Him as an unknown or crabby customs agent for whom I have to do certain good deeds in order for him to let me in. He is my Savior and Friend, and I want His heart to be happy with the things I’ve done out of love (and not out of duty) for Him. 

Are you ready to see Him?

#2 What do I look forward to the most?

My Earthly Home

Of course there are things I look forward to. Seeing family and friends. My own bed. Our espresso machine. People speaking English. No dogs barking, trucks honking, smog suffocating, and reggaeton music playing 24/7. The more I think about these things, the more I can’t wait to leave here and get there.

Something eye-opening (or soul-opening) happened as I wrote down the things I look forward to. One, I see how all the things I long for and look forward to are for my own comfort. And two, as embarrassing as it is to admit, If I’m being totally honest, I miss my comfy bed more than I miss some dear people. I don’t want it to be that way.

Lord, help me to value people over stuff, and purpose over comfort.

My Heavenly Home

The more I think about Heaven, the more I can’t wait to get there. But dare I ask myself what about Heaven I long for the most? I trust that even with the perks list of a mansion being built for me, there being no more sickness or tears, and seeing loved ones who’ve gone before, I truly want more than anything to see Jesus.

Lord, help me to value You over anything else, and help me to live a life that shows it.

1 Peter 2:11-12 Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives. (MSG)

#3 What was my purpose for being here?

In Santiago

I specifically came to reconnect with family, to bless them, to point them to Jesus, to consider other ministry opportunities, and to connect more with Jesus. Sure, extra perks were a steady diet of the world’s best empanadas, bread, and ice cream, along with beautiful mountains and beaches and escaping two months of winter in Illinois, but there’s a big difference between purpose and perks. Had I selfishly gone after the perks and forgotten the purpose, I could’ve been really frustrated.

Okay, who am I kidding? There were several times when perks were front and center in my mind, and yes, frustration quickly set in when I didn’t get what I wanted.

On Earth

What is the purpose of followers of Jesus here on this Earth? Jesus said it was to fish for people – to bring them to Him.

Matthew 4:19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” (NIV)

Paul the apostle knew his purpose was to help others grow and experience joy in their faith.

Philippians 1:21-25 For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live. Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. (NLT)

Could it be that the times we’re most focused on the perks, or on the things we think would make us more comfy or happy, we’re actually more frustrated, anxious, and depressed? I know that’s been my experience. But when I focus on my purpose – not the one I decided to have, but the one He gave me – I am always more fulfilled and at peace.

#4 Do I have any regrets?

About my Santiago Visit

I can gratefully say that I have very few regrets about this visit. There are items I wish I would have brought to bless more family members. There are a few impulsive remarks I wish I would not have blasted at my in-laws. In these last few days, I wish I would’ve been more proactive in reuniting with old friends before time ran out. Better planning and more selfless focus on purpose would have surely limited the regrets.

About my Earthly Visit

It is of no help to stew over past regrets, so let’s not even go there. Here’s what I know:

1. From today forward, I want to live on purpose and regret-free.

2. Jesus is my Lord, and that means He gets to decide what my purpose is.

3. Living out His purpose for me will always bring more joy than any perk I could desire.

4. He gave me His Word and Holy Spirit to teach me and to guide me to purposefully fish for people and to help others grow in their faith.

5. I don’t want to wait until my life is over to consider these four questions about my visit on Earth.

I encourage you today to consider these same four questions.

#1 Am I ready to go to Heaven?

#2 What do I look forward to the most?

#3 What was my purpose for being here on Earth?

#4 Do I have any regrets?

Philippians 3:7-14 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (NLT)

Share on Facebook Tweet Living for Jesus

Leave a Message

Learn to Share the Good News!

Sign up for my weekly email, and receive my 3-part video series simply called "How to Share the Good News".