A long standing (from the “dark” ages!) question uttered by travelers, especially children, is that plaintive cry of, “Aren’t we home yet?”. Often it was followed by, “How much longer?”. Again, the old saying was, “Home is where your hat is”.
I’m not sure that “home is where your hat is” has any relevance to East Africa. Ones hat, while away from the house, usually was on the top of ones head – at least it should be! That African sun beats down and for the “unadorned”, it’s hot rays can bring a splitting headache. And pity the poor missionary who was bald!
I remember in the “old days”, when I was out there as a kid, having to wear a sun-helmet whenever I was outside. My father used to travel by bike to some out-churches and in those days not only did he wear a helmet but the order of the day was to wear a long red flannel cloth down the back, from the neck to the belt line. It was said to keep the sun’s rays from affecting the spinal cord. Why red, I don’t know.
And that wasn’t only missionary culture. It was the colonial government’s recommendation to all non-Africans, especially those who spent much time out in the sun. Of course the stated “medical opinions” were generally accepted by all; I’m not sure how much comprehensive research went into such advice.
In our travels with the children we often heard that, “Are we home yet?” cry follow by our, “No, not yet” and culminating with that, “How much longer will it be?” cry! No matter if your hat was on your head, it was always good to get to your real home. For the children, that was where the toys were; that is where the pets were; that is where their African playmates were; that is where they felt comfortable. That was “home”!
For us who know the Lord, “Home” is when we reach glory. It is something we certainly look forward to; often, some folks wish the trip would end so that they would arrive more quickly. The old song says, “This world in not my home, I’m just a’travellin (or “passin’”) through”. The journey of life may be long, rutted, muddy and bumpy (like roads in Africa). Though the vehicle may break down or may have a flat tire that needs to be repaired, we live in the assurance that we WILL ARRIVE “HOME”. What assurance!