If you could travel anywhere in the world, in general or ever for the holidays, where would you go?
There is so much to do and see out there in the world. I’ve had the privilege to do some traveling in my lifetime, and I always find that the journey I take while travelling leaves me a more informed person.
I’ve been to both U.S. coasts, many times. I’ve been to Central America, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe and all over the great state of Oklahoma. Which brings me to my favorite place to travel.
That’s right, my favorite place to travel is home. No matter where I am in the world, no matter how historic or how breath-taking it may be, it will never be as special as Verdigris, Oklahoma, because that’s where my family is.
I love nothing more than the drive to my parents’ house, with all of the familiar scenes from my adolescence. Except these days, I always play a game to see what part of my home has changed since I last visited.
Verdigris is a small town that is northeast of Tulsa. There is a Dollar General, a Sonic, a Daylight Donuts, Casey’s General store, and QuickTrip—basically the businesses that are in every small town in Oklahoma. Most of these things, minus the Daylight Donuts and Quick Trip, have been new additions since I graduated high school and moved away for college.
The old high school parking lot, where my car used to get stuck if it rained too much because it was a glorified field, has since been paved and made into a real parking lot. I wonder if Kody Bartley sees that parking lot and rues the day that he got mud all over his dress pants and dress shirt just because he helped me and my sister Abby get unstuck?
Our football stadium, where I played many soccer games—and skinned many knees because in the early springtime in Oklahoma, Bermuda grass is glorified dirt—has since received a major facelift with turf and a real track.
We used to run around the old football field in circles and only experienced running on a track when we went to track meets, because our school didn’t have one yet.
There are now covered walk-ways from building to building at my old high school, which is laughable when I consider the days I got drenched running to classes across campus in the rain.
But despite all the quirks and shortcomings, Verdigris is my home. As I traveled back home over Thanksgiving, I wondered how Joseph and Mary felt as they traveled back to Bethlehem so many years ago?
Did Joseph feel nostalgic? Did he hope they didn’t run into too many people that he used to know? Did they know that they were about to become parents to a baby who would one day save the world?
There is one place that we will all go and call home one day because of that very baby. It will be the biggest homecoming the world has ever known. This homecoming will be accompanied by choirs of angels and trumpets sounds. That is the one place that I know I’ll love going more than Verdigris, Oklahoma.
I hope you don’t miss this homecoming. There are a few things you can do to reserve your spot there. First, admit that you’re a sinner and you have fallen short of the Glory of God. Second, trust that Jesus is your Lord and Savior. Finally, proclaim this Good News from the mountaintops and go make disciples of your fellow man.
What a glorious day it will be when we all get to Heaven. I hope I see you there, old friend.