I’ve never had a room with a view.
My childhood bedroom looked out over our front yard, which faced the main highway running through the rural town where my family lived. I recall there used to be a large pine tree close to the road, but at some point it was cut down. My brother and sister and I loved playing around the pieces of wood for several weeks afterward.
Across the highway were the houses of our neighbors. Occasionally we would get permission to walk across the road to pay a visit, but generally my parents expected us to keep to our side of the highway.
I don’t think my parents cared whether or not my bedroom had a lovely view. My parents were far more concerned with teaching me right from wrong, who God was, and how to live a life pleasing to Him.
My childhood wasn’t about having a room with a view. It was about getting a God-view.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. ~Proverbs 3: 5-6
College dorms do not generally offer much of a view either.
Once, I lived in a dorm in which my room came with a balcony. It looked over a large parking lot. In the end, the balcony was rather pointless. I could have used the extra space inside my room instead of on the outside.
I suppose college was never about the scenery anyway. After all, most college towns are fairly typical with their clusters of fast food restaurants and coffee shops, campus book stores, large brick classroom buildings, and of course dormitories.
The eye-opening experience for me was not the physical view of my world, but rather beginning to understand exactly how many different world views (or mindsets) there are in the world. Growing up in a tiny village (population 600) in the Bible Belt had certainly given me a strong understanding of my own worldview, which was then (and still is) decidedly Christian. When I left for college, for the first time I was interacting with people on a regular basis who did not look at the world through the same lens as me.
Looking back on those days, I can see how my own Biblical worldview was challenged, which forced me for the first time in my life to dig down into the beliefs my parents had passed on to me and decide for myself whether or not I wasn’t to continue to accept them as truths.
College wasn’t at all about having a room with a view. It was more deciding on my personal life-view.
You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word. ~Psalm 119: 114
I’ve lived in so many homes as an adult, I’ve lost count of where they all were and how long I lived in each place. Most of those were nondescript brick homes in little subdivisions, but I’ve also spent my fair share of time living in apartments, duplexes and even for a short while in a tiny rental mobile home in a trailer park.
Once I lived in a home far out in the country, with fifteen large pine trees in the front yard. Other than the pine trees, there wasn’t much to see except for the occasional squirrel.
Another time I lived in a very old duplex on an army base in Seaside, California (close to Monterey). If it wasn’t too foggy, which most of the time it was, I could catch a small glimpse of the Monterey Bay out of the corner of my living room window. But mostly, I could just see all of the other drab military houses farther down the hill from where my home was located.
Even the home I live in now isn’t one in a particularly beautiful place. Not to say I dislike where I live. Quite the opposite. I have great neighbors. And the location of my home couldn’t be better. It’s within a five or ten minute drive of nearly every place I go on a regular basis. It’s not perfect … but then, is any home?
I’ve decided I like living here. Some days I have to decide it more than others.
After moving some 17 times in 20 years and calling five different states home, I’ve learned the location of my home has very little to do with my personal happiness.
In adulthood I have learned to be content with where God has placed me … even if I don’t particularly like the view.
I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. ~Philippians 4:11
But one day I will have a room with a view … a fabulous, marvelous, completely unimaginable view. It will be my forever view.
Already, I anticipate that day. God says the streets will be of gold, the waters like crystal, and the city gates made of pearl. Jesus has gone there to prepare my home. Once my time on earth is done, I will live for eternity in the presence of God.
What a view that shall be!
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.” ~1 Corinthians 2:9