Disclaimer: I was talking to my neighbor the other day and she asked me where I do my grocery shopping. I sort of hem-hawed around and finally told her that I grocery-shopped a lot of places. She said kiddingly, “So, you’re not really loyal to one store?” I thought about it and realized, I’m not loyal, at least not to a grocery store. I shop different stores for different reasons. This post is not a slight or an advertisement geared at any store, it’s a story that I still shake my head at when I think about it.
I live in South Huntsville, AL about 3 minutes from Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is not my favorite place to shop but there are just some things that I buy at Wal-Mart because its cheaper and it’s more convenient. I have to admit that I have often thought that there should be reality TV cameras on me at Wal-Mart because the craziest things seem to always happen there.
My mom posted on Facebook the other day that she was certain that everyone already had on their Halloween Costumes at Wal-Mart where she lives. She followed the statement with “not judging, just an observation.”
It’s just Wal-Mart. Funny things happen at Wal-Mart. It has become a place where I’m now more entertained than annoyed. That only happened because I adjusted my expectations. However, apparently I didn’t adjust them quite enough because as I pulled in the parking lot the other day there was a rooster.
Yes, go ahead and read that again. A rooster in the Wal-Mart parking lot.
I stopped my mini-van, looked in the rearview mirror to do a double-take and sure enough. It was actually a rooster. I was stunned, shocked even. I know it’s Wal-Mart and nothing should surprise me anymore but a rooster, people. It gets better.
I watched the rooster for a minute and noticed it went and hid in the bushes close to the parking lot entrance almost as if he had done that before.
I called my husband and reported the rooster sighting. Jared thought I was losing my mind. I went on to form a theory that the rooster lived at Wal-Mart. As I began telling others about it, they, too, had seen the rooster.
About a week later, I headed to Sonic one morning, which happens to be right next to Wal-Mart and as I drove past Wal-Mart, there he was again. Instead of pulling into Sonic, I whipped the mini-van around and went to investigate. But in the short time it took me to turn my van into the Wal-Mart parking lot, he was gone. So, the natural next step was to turn on a movie for Kie so he wouldn’t get impatient. I was going on an expedition. I got out of the car and began searching for the rooster. An older woman in a fancy car, pulled up next to me and asked, “Have you lost your rooster?” I blushed and told her it wasn’t mine but yes, I was looking for the rooster. She pointed me in the direction he had gone, I followed her directions but when I got there, he was M.I.A.
So, I got back in the van, went to Sonic, got my drink and ran into Wal-Mart for a few things. When I came out, there he was.
I’m not sure why I fixated so much on this rooster except for the fact that it was Wal-Mart. Roosters don’t belong in the Wal-Mart parking lot. They belong on a farm, with the hens and the farmer and the old hound. Okay, so I’ve probably watched too much Disney, but still the rooster doesn’t belong there. I wonder if the rooster has any idea what he’s missing? He could be with other chickens, eating chicken food, in a surrounding more befitting for him. But instead, he’s on the hot, black asphalt surrounded by dangers like well, people at Wal-Mart, for one, and two, crazy moms in mini-vans that just want a picture of him, not to mention the traffic.
And then it happened, I heard the whisper, the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. I felt the Spirit reminding me that I’m like that rooster at Wal-Mart. I don’t belong here. This is not my home. How many times have I made myself so comfortable on earth and striving to make myself even more comfortable? I set my sights toward more luxury, more significance, more recognition when all the while, I’m so out-of-place that the pursuit of all of those things seems laughable. And as I become more satisfied with this earthly stint, it seems the longing for my heavenly home is lessened. An overwhelming affection for comfort leaves an underwhelming ache for heaven.
Paul wrote to the Philippians “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20)
I’m about as clueless as that rooster at Wal-Mart. I have no idea, not really, what I’m missing. There is a place that is my home and it’s not Huntsville, AL nor Texas nor any place on earth. My home is in heaven. As a believer, I’m a citizen there. There is a reason that I can’t ever seem to get completely comfortable. I don’t belong here.
Does it seem that God uses the uncomfortable, the hurts, fears and suffering to remind the believer that this isn’t home? Maybe that’s why James told us to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” (James 1:2) Maybe, it’s so we’ll remember, so we won’t find ourselves like the rooster at Wal-Mart and try to make our home in a place where we don’t belong.
Question: What are the trappings that cause you to forget that your home is in heaven? How have you seen God use trials to remind you that this earth isn’t your home? Leave a comment and share your stories of how earth isn’t your home.