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“This World Is Not My Home” in "Songs of Faith and Praise."
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‘Just a passing thru’

Timeless hymn reminds us to fix our eyes on God during difficult times.

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RICHARDSON, TEXAS — I blame Jim Henson!

After all, he’s the one who fashioned those sardonic Muppets I started morphing into several years ago.

You know the ones — Statler and Waldorf — the two cantankerous curmudgeons who sit in the balcony and condescendingly judge others while laughing hysterically at their own banter.

The elder statesmen of Kermit’s clan, they pose as affable fellas with dentured smiles and fading silver hair. Internally, though, they are doused with sarcasm and baptized in bitterness.

I recognized in my mid-40s that I could come from the same gene pool as these two grumbling grinches.

And that terrified me!

“I started feeling like a victim of spiritual road rage. I would get upset because people, whom I perceived to be exhibiting non-Christian-like attitudes and behaviors, were zigzagging around me at 100 mph.”

So I earnestly tried to locate the cause of my negative attitude and, as importantly, figure out how to fix it. The result of this introspection: There was a disconnect between how I wanted to navigate life and the current state of society as viewed through my eyes.

Late last year, I started feeling like a victim of spiritual road rage. I would get upset because people, whom I perceived to be exhibiting non-Christian-like attitudes and behaviors, were zigzagging around me at 100 mph.

They were roadblocks because their divergent worldly views caused them to operate differently than the person I was trying to be. Wherever I turned, I saw countless examples of narcissism. Profanity had apparently become the “new normal” on TV screens and in workplace break rooms. I found it harder to escape other people’s poor lifestyle choices and bad behaviors.


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It all just seemed like too much.

If we aren’t careful, “life” can chip away at our joy, dim our internal lights and slowly turn us into those miserable Muppets.

Jesus would have used this as an opportunity to teach others by his example — and did — but I dropped the proverbial ball and decided to marinate in my misery instead. I failed to exhibit the peace and love that Jesus spent his earthly life modeling.

One Sunday morning, the song leader began to lead us in a hymn that most of us had sung a thousand times before. But for some reason, on this day the lyrics abruptly shook me in a way they never had before. And it became so clear:

This world is not my home, I’m just a passing thru

My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue

The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door

And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore

“This world is not my home, I’m just a passing thru. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.”

That was it! That’s how I felt — like an outsider.

The lyrics are as poignant as they are simple, and they enveloped me in reassurance and returned my truant inner peace.

When we are in our lowest places spiritually — whether self-induced or beaten down by society — it is important to remember that song’s words. We cannot allow earthly forces to dictate our attitudes and actions.

Unfortunately, we all have a little bit of Statler and Waldorf in us — some of us more than others. It creeps out when we aren’t careful. But we also have a whole lot of Jesus in us, too.

Life is about learning how to stifle the two and allowing The One to breathe and flow freely through us and out of us, with purpose and intentionality.

That’s not always easy, especially when we fix our eyes on earthly things. In those moments we must shift our gazes upward and remember that we are just stubborn drifters on this beautiful planet. Our time here is limited.

“We all have a little bit of Statler and Waldorf in us — some of us more than others. It creeps out when we aren’t careful. But we also have a whole lot of Jesus in us, too.”

God created us specifically for this journey, and we should take that responsibility more seriously than anything else. It should be our top priority.

It must be.

It’s unfortunate that it took a song to remind me of that. I’d like to think my spiritual core was strong enough not to need such a reminder.


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That is why it is priceless when we find these serendipitous treasures that keep us focused on what’s most important. That hymn — like a reliable, old friend — did just that for me.

And for that, I am grateful.

It reminded me that it’s not only OK to feel out of place in this world, but it is incredibly healthy.

It reinforced that we must imperatively and joyfully live with the bold recognition and thankfulness that we are, in fact, just passing through.

SCOTT RUSSELL is a tennis instructor and freelance writer from Richardson, Texas. He has attended the Waterview Church of Christ in Richardson since 1990, when he was baptized there as a teenager.

Filed under: attitude Christlike heaven hymns Muppets Opinion Singing This World Is Not My Home Top Stories Views

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