For those of you who dwell in caves and come into civilization only to read my blog (and if you exist, may I ask, “why THIS blog?”) the Winter Olympics were just held in my former home province. This was a big deal for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that there are only a few cities in Canada (2?) that don’t get consistent snowfall, and the IOC chose one of them to host an international event which requires snow. Hmmm.
Anyway, the Olympics were hosted by Vancouver, British Columbia, a city in which I lived for four years, attended college, met the man of my dreams, was engaged and spent my (painful and horrible) first year of marriage. It is a city in which I have friends, family, and memories, so you’d think that I would be glued to the coverage, but I found myself strangely ambivalent. Setting aside the neo-paganism and global socialism of the whole thing, I was caught in a strange personal dilemma. I truly did not have a “dog in the fight” as they say. (No, dog fighting was not a demonstration sport this year. It’s a figure of speech.)
Let me illustrate: On February 21, Canada faced the US in a men’s hockey preliminary round and lost. My friends here (those who cared about men’s hockey) were all delighted to remind me that Canada had been beaten at their own game, while my family in Canada announced that my guys had beaten their guys. I was assumed to be the “enemy” (that is friendly hyperbole) by both countries and the ally of neither.
I’ve lived in Georgia almost 12 years. Both of my children were born here. I’ve owned two houses here. I’ve belonged to three church families here and have built innumerable relationships. I was born in Canada and lived there for 24 years. I attended all of my schooling there, have all of my family (except my aunt) there, was engaged and married there and have innumerable relationships.
Both are home.
Neither are home.
It’s things like the Olympics that remind me where my true allegiances lie. My citizenship is in heaven, and my bond is to others who share that citizenship. The Lord could sell our house tomorrow (please, Lord) and move us to Botswana, Africa the next day (that wasn’t part of the prayer, Lord), but we would still find family, kinsmen, fellow sojourners who know that this world isn’t their home. The Olympics reminds me that I don’t choose between the country of my birth and the country of my choice. Instead I belong to a people of God’s choosing from every tribe, tongue, and nation.
The Olympics reminded me that here on earth, nowhere is home, but my family is every where.