“Home” is a word that has always moved me deeply, but I never associated it with Philmont before. And so, I really wasn’t prepared for the emotional impact of returning to Philmont this summer. It had been ten years since I’d led a trek there. I was feeling my age all last year, feeling more anxiety about leading a trip than I have for quite a while, feeling also a sense of “anticipated loss” as I wondered how many more big trips to special places I have in me.
I love the hills and mountains, the woods and streams. I love camping. I love to take kids into the wilderness, build fires, sing the old songs. I do some of my best ministry there, with those youth and adults. But more than that. These adventures and these special places are “home” to me in a powerful way.
I have traveled ‘cross the country
And there is much that I have learned,
Still I’ve felt no peace inside me
Till the day that I returned.
For there are two things you can count on
In this troubled world we face:
Every season has an ending;
Every person has a place.
The outdoors isn't the only place where I feel at home, of course, or where I feel like I'm doing what God called me to do. But whether here or there, indoors or outdoors, in worship or in work, there are things that move me and fulfill me, and then there's everything else.
So it bowled me over when, listening to “The Hills That I Call Home” today, I suddenly thought,
I have spent an enormous amount of my life doing things that didn’t matter.
I’ve spent an even bigger amount of my life trying to do things that truly do matter with people who didn’t care.
And I don’t know how much of my life is left, but I don’t want to do things that don’t matter anymore, and I don’t want to waste time on people who don’t care about the things that do.
It’s as simple as that.