Andrew Schroer writes a faith column for the Victoria Advocate.

One of the fun things about Facebook is it allows you to connect with people you haven’t seen in an exceedingly long time. For example, a couple of years ago, I became friends on Facebook with my kindergarten teacher who I last saw in person in 1982. It’s been fun catching up with her and her family who we knew well when I was a boy.

Recently, her daughter, Rachel, posted that her parents were selling their house and moving closer to the grandkids. The house they were selling had been their home since they married more than 60 years ago. Their children grew up in that house. Every Christmas, the entire family gathered there. For children and grandchildren alike, that was “home.”

As you can imagine, the transition was bittersweet. On the day of the move, the daughter wrote a message to the new owners on Facebook.

“I hope this becomes your forever home,” she told them.

I know what she meant. She hoped it would be for them what it was for her family — their lifelong home, the place where children grow up and grandchildren visit.

I’m pretty sure Rachel didn’t mean what she said literally. You see, Rachel is a Christian. She believes in Jesus and is looking forward to the forever home Jesus won for her in the mansions of heaven.

She just was talking how people talk nowadays. She wasn’t thinking about heaven.

The problem for us is that we often do the same. We stop thinking about heaven. We forget or fail to remember that this isn’t our forever home. As young adults, we worry and stress about buying our dream home where we can raise our kids and create wonderful memories. We grind our fingers to the bone to pay it off and fix it up. We spend our weekends working on the yard and building decks.

But then we get to the point where we can’t keep up with it anymore. The yard we worked so hard to maintain becomes overgrown.

The wood on the deck rots. The roof needs replacing. Eventually, we have to move in with the kids or into a nursing home.

So often, we spend our lives fretting about things that don’t last — homes, cars, boats, campers, phones, clothes. We stress about what is going to happen to our beloved country under each new president. We worry about the economy and the stock market.

We forget that we are just passing through this world. We fail to remember that though God gives us many blessings and wonderful memories in this temporary home, our forever home is far better.

When we keep our eyes and hearts focused on heaven, it changes how we look at our lives in this world. It changes how we live our lives. It changes what we consider is truly important.

So, the next time you walk through the door of your house or apartment, take a moment. Look around at all the material blessings God has showered on you. Thank him for the home he has given you.

But then remember that you aren’t actually home yet.

“Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6).

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Pastor Andrew Schroer has been a pastor for nearly 20 years and is currently serving at Redeemer Lutheran Church with campuses in Edna and Victoria, Texas. Read more of his devotional writing and contact him at 364DaysofThanksgiving.com.

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