Coming back as a visitor to a place that was for more than a decade home is a bit strange. Even with all the changes, there is much that is familiar. Streets, parks, and people all seem the same. But the changes stick out and make you wonder if you really know the city like you used to. The small stores have gone through one, two, or even three different owners. Businesses have come and gone. Older proprietors have retired and moved to sunnier locations. Even the special places to park free are now guarded by parking meters!
San Francisco has gone through a major earthquake and our friends have grown up, had kids, and moved away from the city. There is a new baseball park and the freeways were leveled and replaced by eco friendly trolley cars. The changes highlight the fact that this city is exciting; change is always underway and the surface motives are always to make things better for those living here.
I like San Francisco. In many ways I still consider this my home even after being away longer than I lived here. There are lots of things here to like and admire, especially if one could figure out a way to make a living!
Over my lifetime I have been in and out of church and in and out with God, usually at different times. In my younger years I associated going to church with having a relationship with God, not I realize and appreciate that they are often totally unrelated.
I find my experience with God like San Francisco. When I am away from God, if only for a few hours, I know I am away from where my soul calls home. I find myself restless, uncomfortable, and confronted by an urgency to return. As hard as this is, “in one way or another, God makes sure we all experience what it means to be outside so that he can personally open the door and welcome us back in.” (Romans 11.32)
I’m glad God is home, no matter what.