In 1975, a 15 year old young man’s dreams since he was a little boy come to life. His mom says, “Do you want to go to Egypt?” In February 1976 he packs a backpack. She doesn’t want a cool backpack and insists on packing and carrying a suitcase and off they go for several weeks… traveling across Egypt by train, horse and camel visiting the Valley of the Kings, the pyramids, going into recently opened tombs at midnight. Going on paleontological digs in elementary school in various parts of the USA… taking a boat across the Pacific Ocean in Jr. High… Living, growing up and traveling in Europe, Thailand and the Far East, 4 years of High School in Iran, tour guiding in Israel, the Middle East, and Africa. This mom I know even traipsed off into Nepal and Afghanistan exploring by herself in the 70’s…
That’s my mom and that’s been my life. My mom often tells and retells stories of me and my many travels… but, not just my travels when I was older. Let me share this with you… in Germany, at the crack of dawn one morning, military police bring a little toddler boy in a diaper to the door of our house. This little toddler had somehow managed to quietly let himself out at dawn to explore the fields outside along the German highway when someone noticed him and let the military police know. Imagine my mother’s shock when she was awakened from her slumber to see an MP holding sweet l’il ole smiling and diapered — me at the front door.
I’m a lot older now, filled with a lot of miles and memories. As I reminisce, I think of my mom’s stories… and there’s lots of them… but I remember her saying… as she reminded me over the years, that as a young mom, she figured that if I was going to be so adventurous in life and in this world, that if and when this happened again (which it did often) she wanted to make sure that — I COULD FIND MY WAY BACK HOME.
I recall some lyrics to an old Al Denson song…I’ve changed a few of the words…
He’s mommy’s little boy
Only three years old
All dressed up in his Sunday clothes
She holds his hand on bended knee
She says “I need to show you how
To find your way home.”
As they walk along, how sweet the sound
Church bells ringing, people gathered ’round
“Remember this church, and the cross ‘way up there
Sweetheart, if you ever get lost, say….”
Take me to the cross
High upon the steeple
The one where Jesus died
For lost and hurting people
If you can’t find home
Know you’re not alone
Take me to the cross
Well, I thank God for my mom Lili who made sure I knew how to find my way back home. I thank God who worked through my loving and not-so-perfect mom, who helped point me to the cross. I am grateful for my mom and grandma… all moms and grandmas who sang to us about Jesus and the Bible and read the Bible to us…
I am eternally thankful for my wife Karen, the mother of our children, reading to them and teaching them the Bible… and standing in the gap and offering forgiveness when I blew it as a dad… and encouraging me in my roles of husband, father, friend, and Pastor… showing us daily what taking up one’s cross is all about… and pointing us all to the cross.
For it is at the Cross — because of Jesus’ death on the cross, I have mercy, forgiveness of my sins, life and salvation and the ONLY way to my eternal home.