Many of you are familiar with the author Louis L’Amour. President Ronald Reagan knew him and awarded him the “Presidential Medal of Freedom” in 1984. Louis wrote over a hundred novels, mainly about the old west. One of my friends described his books as “literary potato chips”…. once you started, you just kept going, you couldn’t put them down. “The Sackett Clan” was one of his favorite family of heroes…they went from one generation to the next…from Europe to America…across the plains conquering the frontiers.
The stories were pretty predictable but always left me with a hopeful spirit. In Louis’s stories the good guy, after being kicked around a little bit, always took care of the villain. Louis related that “one day I was speeding along at the typewriter and my daughter, who was a child at the time, asked me, Daddy, why are you writing so fast?….and I replied, because I want to see how the story turns out!”
Well, Louis could really “paint a picture”. One reoccurring scene I recall was of the hero after a very tough time… a battle, bad weather…snow and cold…. would finally arrive at a friendly cabin or pub nestled in the woods. It was a big warm rustic place with a large fireplace, a very good ale on tap, and wonderful food, maybe a beef stew with biscuits… (no quinoa or kale allowed)….safe from danger. After this great dinner, our hero would head up to a nice room with a soft bed, blankets and a “Mr. Pillow” …. a delicious breakfast was waiting for him in the morning. He could smell the bacon cooking as he began to wake up. By the time our hero left the next day, he was refreshed and ready for the next adventure.
After I’ve had a tough few days fighting the enemy, the weather, and life in general, I can picture that Pub in my imagination and it draws me there. There’s something in me that is looking for that place of rest, of security, of peace…. with the best of food. We can find those places on earth at times with family and friends… the warm welcome. Yet, our soul really longs for more …. for the living God. Psalm 84 gives us a glimpse of the true longing of our soul.
“How lovely is thy dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yea, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. … Blessed are those who dwell in thy house, ever singing thy praise… For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness… No good thing does the LORD withhold from those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in thee!” (Psalm 84:1-12)
There’s a deep longing in all of us for that peace that only comes from finally arriving home after a long and weary journey. C. S. Lewis gives us a clue when he says “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” (Source: “Mere Christianity”)
Heaven is that home….even a better place than the wonderful “Pubs” in Louis L’Amore’s novels.