Where is Home for You? It May Not Be Where You Live
Where is ‘home’ for you—that place where you feel you most belong? Is it the house where you grew up? Is it your current home? Is it just being with your loved ones, wherever you are, or is it something else entirely? As you’ll see, when the topic of ‘home’ was given to me by the producers of BBC Radio 2’s Pause for Thought it caused a bit of soul searching. For some, home isn’t a place but a state. For others, home is a city they visited for a short time but have never been back to. And for me? Well, read or listen on…
Where is Home?
The last time I visited my hometown of Brisbane, Australia, I had an eerie experience. One night I drove to Kangaroo Point—a cliff top that provides a stunning view of the city—and as I sat there watching the cars rush by on Riverside Drive and the city’s lights shimmer on the Brisbane River, I realised I could see the spots where some of my significant life events took place.
In front of me was the bustling city, where I’d come as a teenager to buy records and feel ‘grown up’. To my right was the Story Bridge, which my dad had driven me across each day to my very first job. To the left was Southbank, the park where Merryn and I had our first date. The first flat I rented was up the river and to the left—it was a converted storeroom with a cockroach problem, but I felt so free and independent living there. And to the right of that was the first radio station I worked at.
As I sat reliving these memories I was struck by something: even with all these experiences, Brisbane didn’t feel like ‘home’ for me. And it never had.
Our Pause for Thought theme this week is a significant one as, in some ways I’ve been searching for home for some time. It wasn’t until Merryn and I moved to Sydney that I truly felt at home. In Sydney long-held dreams came true, the beauty of Sydney Harbour captured my soul, I was doing work that mattered, and its cosmopolitan feel meant I didn’t have to like football and beer to fit in! I could be ‘me’ in Sydney.
Home is a place of belonging. It’s where you can be yourself and be loved for it. In this sense friends and family are ‘home’ for me, particularly Merryn. Her acceptance means home is wherever we are together. And God is ‘home’ for me. I can feel a sense of home praying in a hotel far away because wherever he is, home is.
But home is also a place of becoming. It’s a place that challenges us to grow and share our God-given gifts with the world. This is what Sydney gave me that Brisbane didn’t. This is what Oxford is giving me now.
So this is what I’ve learnt along my search:
Home is a place of belonging and becoming—where you can be who you truly are, and become who you’re truly meant to be.
First aired on Pause for Thought on BBC Radio 2’s early breakfast show
Main image: ‘home’ by Xiu Xiu (CC BY-ND 2.0)
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