In the country of my youth, distance is measured in kilometers, not miles. Between my hometown and Manila, the capital, are 100 concrete mini-monuments by the roadside, marking the number of kilometers you are away from the capital, more exactly the Luneta, where the kilometer stone "0" is located fronting the monument of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.
Commuting from the capital to my hometown, I knew that we were halfway when we reached Baliwag (km 50), close to home when we reached San Ildefonso (km 75), and almost home when we reached Gapan (km 95). We were home at km 100, right where the national highway intersected our street. Our home was 2 houses away from that intersection.
The bus ride from the capital is not long, but the scenery is beautiful. Along the way are small towns and in-between are wide expanses of fields green with growing rice plants or golden with grain on the stalks. At a certain distance looms Mt. Arayat, which is an imperfect version of Mt. Mayon, which is a perfect cone, but is still majestic.
The stone monuments were there telling me exactly where I was on my trip. But they were not my destination. Kilometer "100" was, and it was where my home was, where I was journeying to, where my father and mother were, and where I wanted to be.
In the new country I adopted many years later, distance is not measured in kilometers but in miles. There are no stone or concrete monuments telling you where you are in relation to where you want to go. The huge green road signs do that job, and the modern navigation technology GPS gives you more information that guides you in your trip to your destination. The same guides you when you are on the road again on your way back home.
One can have more than one home in his lifetime. Wherever that home is there is the allure to come back to it at the end of the day or at the end of a journey.
There is no place like home. For home is where one's treasure is. Home is where one's joy is. Home is where one's heart is. Home is where one's family and loved ones are.
But despite its comforts, its allure, no earthly home can be permanent and lasting.
It therefore makes sense to know, strive for, and journey to that home where all these are present and more. The home for which our Creator made us. The home where He Himself dwells. The home that will last forever.#
"In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be." (John 14:2-3)
"For we know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven." (2 Cor 5:1)