Home – a fairly familiar word for almost everyone. “I am going home,” “Where is your home?” and others are common expressions to us, aren’t they?
A few days ago, I was in Boston. I stayed there for two nights in my friend’s house. As I walked on the streets in Boston, I could feel something was different from what I used to experience in Washington, DC, the city where I have been living for the past five months. When I was in Boston, I felt Washington, DC as my home.
Now that I am already back in DC, and in fact will be leaving the city for good tomorrow to eventually return to Singapore to continue my last year in college, I know that Singapore is “more home” than DC. I have more friends there, and I am more used to the lifestyle there to some degree. I miss some people there and I know some people in Singapore miss me too. Hang on Singapore, I am coming back next semester.
But before returning to Singapore, I will visit Jakarta for about 2-3 weeks. My family lives there. I also grew up in Jakarta, spending 16 years of my life there. I still have a lot of friends in Jakarta although I feel that the number is decreasing as I continue my stay in Singapore. But still, I have spent way more years in Jakarta than in Singapore, 16 years versus 2.5 years. Since my family is in Jakarta and I have spent majority of my life in Jakarta, Jakarta is my real home.
But wait! I was not born in Jakarta! In fact, I spent my first two years on earth living in this city in Central Java, Semarang. Both my parents were born and grew up in Semarang as well. We all moved to Jakarta when I was two years old and have ever since become Jakarta’s residents. Most of my cousins, uncles, and aunts are in Semarang. So, you know, in that sense Semarang is also my home – it was my first home and is still my home since I keep coming back to it once per year or so.
Is that it? Is that all? Do I have another place which I consider home? The answer for the latter question is a yes. As Jesus said to His disciples, “You are not from the world” and “I am going to heaven to prepare a place for you” (note: these are not exact quotations), I believe, by faith and by God’s grace, that after I die I will come to heaven. Heaven, I think, is my last stop. It is where I belong, eventually. It is where my joy will be wholly fulfilled. It is where there is no more pain, no more tears. And as the title of this blog says, my life on earth is like a rehearsal for eternity. To have a “good” life in heaven, one should have a “good” life on earth.
God bless you!