Away From Home

I saw this post the other day and it got me to thinking about another 500 miles song.  This one:

That song, according to Wikipedia, was first recorded in 1961 by the Journeymen. The Kingston Trio did it in 1962.  That was probably the more successful one.  Then it was done by a host of others including Peter, Paul, and Mary.  Wikipedia says the song was probably derived from much older folk songs.  One would suspect it came from the depression era when there was a multitude of lost, lonely, far from home, people riding the rails.

I doubt that any of those who recorded this song ever hitched a ride on a freight train.  But still they managed to imbue their music with that pain, that emptiness, that longing that infects the lyrics.  Folk music, blues, bluegrass, even country music has that ability to bring up that sense of something lost in our lives.  The most affluent, the most successful, the happiest of us can be touched by that music.

Why is that?  I think it’s because we know deep down that we are far from home, a lot farther that 500 miles.  We have a sense of something lost we can’t define.  We know there is something in us that yearns for home.

Hebrews 11:9-10 says about Abraham:

By faith he sojourned in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;

for he waited for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

We all have that emptiness, that desire, that yearns for something we can’t define.  And that yearning will not be satisfied till we are home.




About Angus Lewis

My wife and I lived our whole lives in Arkansas until ten years ago. We moved to the Kansas City area in 2011 (a job change). That was the reason for the 'From a Far Country' title. Our children and grandchildren were in Arkansas. Six months ago we sold our house and bought one in Sherwood, Arkansas and my wife moved back down here. Two weeks ago I retired and moved back too. (I'm probably going to try to find something part time to keep me out of trouble.) So maybe the 'From a Far Country' title is not so much of a fit anymore. But I think I'll stick with it. I'm still not home. Not yet. The Bible says we are all strangers and pilgrims here. Our real home is with God and some day we'll be there. We'll be home.
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2 Responses to Away From Home

  1. manoahswife says:

    And in that city, our hearts will be satisfied; our hearts will be complete. The beauty of that city-home is beyond comprehension. In it, we will sing His praises ever more. In it, we will know Him face to face. What a glorious end to our sojourn. What a great reminder to start my day with today. Thank you.

  2. hudson howl says:

    This made me think on so many levels. There is no one person among us, regardless of their beliefs, who does not contemplate ‘home’.

    Funny, I listened to Peter, Paul and Mary’s version of ‘500 Miles’ a couple of weeks ago. Have been thinking about it ever since. It is good to go back and revisit that which has been forgotten.

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