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On the Shores of Babylon – Looking for a Home

On the Shores of Babylon – Looking for a Home

Article by Matt Scheuneman
Sometimes I rediscover favorite artists' albums and become slightly obsessed with that album for a few weeks. My recent "rediscovery" is Switchfoot's album, "Vice Verses." Jon Foreman has long been one of my favorite lyricists. Each album he writes seems to open the door to a season of his life. And this album feels like it was written for my current stage of life.

Specifically, I am in love with the song "Where I Belong." Here are just a few of the lyrics:

"Feeling like a refugee
Like it don't belong to me
The colors flash across the sky
This air feels strange to me
Feeling like a tragedy
Take a deep breath and close my eyes
One last time
Storms on the wasteland
Dark clouds on the plains again
We were born into the fight
But I'm not sentimental
This skin and bones is a rental
And no one makes it out alive
Until I die, I'll sing these songs
On the shores of Babylon
Still looking for a home
In a world where I belong"

At one point, recently, a close friend looked at me and said, "Matt, you seem restless." He didn't mean fidgety. He saw something in my eyes that felt lost. As we talked, I came to the realization that I keep looking for a home – through friends, my career, even where I live. Somewhere I belong and feel "right."

Yet, the beauty of that conversation was not to identify in this world where I would feel at home, but that it was okay for me to feel – restless. Now, I admit, I do not like this feeling AT ALL. After these past few months, I long, even more so, for a place to be at peace. But, the peace I began to realize was that my "home" is not here. Not of this world.

I think this is why this song grabs my heart. It's like someone else knows this feeling and was courageous enough to write down these words and sing this song. I'm thankful for Jon's courage in that.

I write this to you, dear brother and sister because your restlessness might be good. I want us to consider what we are restless for. Peace? Contentment? To be pain-free? Affirmation? Love? Attention?

The goodness of our restlessness is not that we are stuck in discomfort but that it is pointing us to the only hope of the fulfillment of these things – Christ and His Kingdom.

We are refugees in a wasteland of this life. We are the Israelites, captive in a foreign land. We are souls wrestling in sinful flesh. And yet, the recognition that we are not yet home can bring us peace.

Let's be honest, if this world was it, that it was all we had to look forward to, we would be in despair. And so many of us feel this way.

Yet, for those in Christ, this is not the end.

Even as I write this, I recognize a pull in me to be at balance. Because, as much as I long for my home, I have to remember that I'm not called to that home… yet. Why? There is something here that I am called into. And for this, I begin to consider my purpose in this world. God, in His divine sovereignty, keeps me in this world – at least for this day. And so, to worship Him, to speak life into another, to plant a seed, I remain here – with you – as the church.

You see, if we have a clearer picture of our true home, we will have a clearer picture of our purpose in this one. We can better understand mission. We can have hope that He is not left us or forsaken us. We will go home – just not yet.

And so – until I die, I'll sing these songs, on the shores of Babylon. Still looking for a home – in a world where I belong.

Matt Scheuneman

Counselor in Biblical Life Ministry