A Stranger in My Own Land

I came to Seneca, SC in August 2009 after a very challenging season of ministry. The initial church I served here called me at a 98 percent vote to be their Minister of Music and Education. After I heard several times at the previous church that they only hired me because they were desperate, it felt good to be called to a place where I was wanted. Not to say that everyone in the previous church didn’t want me, but it was a different feel.

During my first 3 1/4 years in Seneca, I felt like I was at home for the first time in years. It was nice. God blessed the music and discipleship ministries of the church, and I left on a very high note. Little did I know I would return to Seneca a year later, but under the most hellacious circumstances of my life. The first year back in Seneca was what I needed, but things greatly changed.

Over the last several years, I began to feel dislocated in a place that once felt like home. This feeling has increased even more since I work in a different county and pastor a church in another different county. I jokingly tell people I come home to Seneca just to sleep.

As I sat in Seneca Baptist Church for the high school chorus concert on Tuesday, it felt so strange. I saw a few familiar faces. These were people from some of the same circles in which I used to run. We don’t share the commonalities anymore. We are in different seasons of life, and that is okay.

One thing came to mind that night – I’m not a citizen of this world. This is just my temporary residence. Philippians 3 reminds me that my citizenship is in Heaven. I’m just a sojourner passing through a world to which I will not relate because Christ has changed me. Just a little while (which could be another 40+ years), I will take my heavenly flight.

Fellow Christian, do you feel out of place? If yes, that’s normal. You will be a misfit, struggling to find your place. Your place is not here. You are seated with Christ in the heavenly places. Make the most of this temporary assignment until that sweet day when you see Jesus face to face. The tension between the two worlds will be worth it all.

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