Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Being at HOME Wherever You Are in Life

I had a weird experience the other day. Our local high school has undergone a remodel and new build. They kept some of the external buildings and knocked down the original school but kept some rooms of the old school.

It was barely habitable the first day and they planned on letting the kids start at three local buildings rather than at the school. They have been finishing rooms, offices and gyms as the kids take the long way to classes and get to know the knew school. Because of having to incorporate old rooms and building, it is somewhat of a maze and snakes around the block.

I am sure the architects weren't thrilled having to make it "fit" into the spaces available but due to that situation, the school does have a bit of a "rats maze" feel to it. Since the first visit a while ago, I felt that it reminded me of a prison I once visited. We took a tour once with legislators etc and got to see all areas of the prison including maximum security. This experience made me NEVER want to commit a crime. The people in those cells made me cringe and all I could see was there eyes. Minimum security was still sad and I thought every school child should take a tour. I think it would make them think before committing a crime!

The main thing I remember about the prison was that there were NO windows. They had lots of LONG tunnels with just cinder-block and nothing. The floors are cement smooth and just lights. That was all that was in these long halls with doors at both ends.

In the high school. There are long halls, no windows, the walls are grey block / brick and the floors are all the smooth cement. The class rooms are all located off these long halls. Each hall holds a different area of study and once your turn another corner, there is another long hall with more rooms.

This is nice in the fact that the class rooms all have windows as the hall is in the center of the two rows of classrooms. However, unless you are paying attention, every hall looks the same! There are no defining factors in the halls. In the center of the school is the cafeteria which is also brick and block which makes it VERY loud.

They had an open house there a few weeks back. Princess Five, being a student body officer, was asked to give tours of the new building.

I had bunko that night but wanted to support her in her "touring" so I went and I joined in as she was finishing a tour. As I had been there for another meeting, I had an idea where things were but not all the rooms were finished then.

We did our tour and I visited with a few people as the entire town was there for the "unveiling" and several surrounding towns also came as they are all busing gifted kids to attend classes at the new high school.

When I hugged her "bye" to head to my dinner, I was looking at my phone and saw a door on the right side of the hall which looked like the one I came in. I quickly found myself on the outside of two LOCKED doors in complete darkness staring at a closed fence with not many options of where to go.

I quickly turned back around and started banging on the door. Remember, I said that the cafeteria was very LOUD, I forgot to mention that they were having the band play their fall concert in the cafeteria that is all cement/ brick. YES, it was hurting peoples ears but how to do you not stay to support your child? SO, NO ONE COULD HEAR me banging on the outside of two doors and I was IN THE DARK!!!

Ok, my first thought is "You are a complete idiot!" But secondly, why the heck are they having an open house with doors open to construction zones?! So, I turned my flashlight on my phone and there was a thin area between two buildings but I didn't know how many spiders or hazards would be between those buildings. I then thought I could climb the fence but it has sharp tops and I don't have emergency insurance so cutting myself on a fence didn't seem like the best idea. I had already tried to call and text Princess Five but once again, remember, she is giving tours and the band is echoing down all the hallways VERY loudly! She couldn't hear her phone.

So, I begin to panic as you can see from the photos, it is DARK out there. You can see from the pictures I took with my flash on, there are hazards everywhere. There are piles of dirt etc. I could see nothing but what was in front of me. Most of my friends were at bunko so I knew they wouldn't be inside the building..... I didn't know what to do.

I said a little prayer and returned to the door I had exited. Just about then, I saw a family I know from church slowing walking past. I used my phone with the light, banged on the door waving my arms and one of them saw me and I pointed to the door and they let me in. It seems so silly but I was so embarrassed that I joked about my stupidity going out the wrong door and rushed off.

It wasn't until church a few weeks later when someone was discussing how we are all sinners and are lost and alone that the memory of that night came back with a large impact and deeper understanding. I realized that at times, we are all busy with life and get distracted and make bad choices and it isn't always intentional but we may find ourselves out the "outside" of the light of Christ and the gospel. I thought about how many people are living in darkness scared and alone and may not know how to get back into the light without hazards.

I realized that sometimes all it takes is a seemingly small act of "opening" a door for that person to come back into the "light" of Christ. The family that opened my door felt they didn't do anything big. They just opened the door. However, I had been trying for some time to get someone to open the door. I was alone, in the dark with hazards all around and I felt like I had "no other way out."

They, through that one small act of opening a door, gave me such a big blessing. I was able to return to the lighted path (hallway) and return home safe. Sometimes, I think people find themselves alone and in the dark and don't know where to go and even though they know that there may be hazards, may be too embarrassed by what they did to get into that dark spot that they won't ask for help back into the safety and light. So, in that case, we can just open the door, not go and find them in the dark or delve into how they got into the dark but just open the door. I didn't really want to discuss how stupid I was to get locked out and rushed off and sometimes, that is how sinners may feel not wanting everyone to know about how stupid they were to get lost in the first place.

After I had those thoughts at church, I thought how cool it would be to take pictures of the school all lit up and the fenced area etc. A few days later, I was driving by the school and it was dark and the school was all lit up and I thought, "Oh, I wish I had my camera" and then remembered I had it as I was at a 4-H dinner for Princess Five giving a presentation and took some pictures. I pulled over and took these photos. While I was doing it, the song, "Home" by Phillip Phillips came on.

I started to cry as the words sank in as I took pictures of that dark fenced in area of the school. The video at the top left is him singing this song. The next picture is the door I should have come out that has a parking lot and some lights.

The top picture and the other pictures are of the construction area, piles of dirt, junk etc. The last pictures is the lighted "storage" area on the next block. Apparently, they care about the stuff people may take but the other areas are DARK!

I pondered on the song and lyrics as I drove home. "Hold on to me as we go." Christ. I was alone but wasn't alone with Christ. He knew where I was. "As we roll down this unfamiliar road." Now in my life, and that night, both are unfamiliar roads. Still working on the parasite thing, I am in unfamiliar territory for me and science. But, at all times, I had and have Christ with me.

"Settle down, it'll all be clear. Don't pay no mind to the demons they fill you with fear." Things like not wanting to look like a fool, embarrassed at not paying attention to where I was going, in a hurry to get to my bunko group, etc. we all hear demons in our heads trying to keep us from asking for help or moving forward. In asking for help, I needed to put down those embarrassment feelings. Demons are in all our lives. We have them in our heads and others voices can be the demon voices when they make fun of our choices, blogs, decisions.

"The trouble it might drag you down, If you get lost, you can always be found. Just know you're not alone." I think we all have troubles that drag us down. At times, we all get lost in our jobs, towns, choices, or at schools! But, we can always be found because we are NOT alone.

HE wants us home. He wants us to be at home in our life! My home isn't your home but we each need to be comfortable in our struggles and life and make the place where we are a HOME. I realized that I DON'T feel at "HOME" in my life. I am struggling for health, for peace, for joy, for finances, for my future, for life!!! I am NOT at "HOME" in my life. Even though I have a "HOME" I am NOT at "home."

I think sometimes we are all struggling to get home. I make choices that I think are taking me closer to being at "home" with HIM! Closer to home with God, closer to home with Christ, closer to home with myself. Other times, I make choices that take me further from home and Him.

I love that this song talks about the paths, you are NOT alone, HE will make us at Home because HE is on the path with us. We will never be alone on the path but may not realize HE is with us on this path.

I was grateful for that experience that helped me realize that I need to "open more doors" for those in my life who may be locked out and in the dark. I need to realize that I am NEVER alone and He knows exactly where I am. I will make wrong turns, open doors I should have left closed and get lost, but with Him, I can find my way out and with others help, those doors can be opened and I pray that we each can return "HOME" and be with Him in the end. I also pray that we can all be at "HOME" in our lives just as they are knowing He is with us and that we are where we are and it can be HOME.

 "Home" lyrics by Phillip Phillips
Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm going to make this place your home
Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found
Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm going to make this place your home

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