My young granddaughter went to her first sleepover last weekend. She enjoyed it and made it fine, but as it is with most youngsters, the first time away from home can be a bit of a challenge.
As she told of her experience, I was reminded of a story I once read of another little girl who spent the night with a friend for the first time. Not only was it her first time to stay overnight with this friend, but her first night to ever be away from her parents. The mother of the friend knew that it might be a little difficult for their guest so she kept an eye on her.
The young child did fine until it got close to bedtime- - and then it became obvious that she was not content. She grew quiet and tears started to well in her eyes. The mother of her friend asked, “Honey, are you homesick?” The youngster looked up and innocently answered, “No, I’m ‘here’ sick.”
Probably most of us have experienced being “homesick” at some point in life. If you have, then you know it is not any fun at all. Further, I imagine that a lot of us have been like the little girl and have dealt with a case or two of “here” sickness as well. That is no good either.
While these two terms could be used interchangeably, there is also a distinction that can be made between them. “Home” sickness is usually a longing to be in comfortable and safe surroundings of which we are familiar. “Here” sickness might be nothing more than a desire to be somewhere (perhaps anywhere) other than where we are at the present.
In the story we know as the “Prodigal Son” (Luke 15:11f), we find some of both. The young man had enjoyed a great home life, but desired to experience the ways of the world- - and did. When he was broke and broken, he realized how good things had been at home and longed to return. Further, when he found himself trying to survive in a pig pen, he realized that becoming a slave in his father’s household would be far better than where he was and what he had become. Thankfully, he did more than just acknowledge his mistake- - he did something about it- - and was blessed.
Perhaps you have contracted a case of “here” sickness. If so, Jesus taught there truly is a better way and a better place (Matthew 11:28-30). What are you going to do?