I’m delighted to welcome Sheridan Voysey to the blog today, sharing some thoughts on home that he originally gave on BBC Radio 2’s Pause for Thought. Sheridan is a wonderful writer and speaker, whom I’ve been delighted to come to know along with his wife Merryn since they moved to the UK from their native Australia. He invites you to ask yourself, “Where is ‘home’ for you—that place where you feel you most belong? Is it the house where you grew up? Your current home? Is it just being with your loved ones, wherever you are, or is it something else entirely?”
When I visited my hometown of Brisbane, Australia, I had an eerie experience. One night I drove to Kangaroo Point—a cliff top that provides a stunning view of the city—and as I sat there watching the cars rush by on Riverside Drive and the city’s lights shimmer on the Brisbane River, I realised I could see the spots where some of my significant life events took place.
In front of me was the bustling city, where I’d come as a teenager to buy records and feel grown up. To my right was the Story Bridge, which my dad had driven me across each day to my very first job. To the left was Southbank, the park where Merryn and I had our first date. The first flat I rented was up the river and to the left—it was a converted storeroom with a cockroach problem, but I felt so free and independent living there. And to the right of that was the first radio station I worked at.
As I sat reliving these memories I was struck by something: even with all these experiences, Brisbane didn’t feel like ‘home’ for me. And it never had.
The theme of finding home is a significant one as in some ways I’ve been searching for home for some time. It wasn’t until Merryn and I moved to Sydney that I truly felt at home. In Sydney long-held dreams came true, the beauty of Sydney Harbour captured my soul, I was doing work that mattered, and its cosmopolitan feel meant I didn’t have to like football and beer to fit in! I could be myself in Sydney.
Home is a place of belonging. It’s where you can be yourself and be loved for it. In this sense friends and family are ‘home’ for me, particularly Merryn. Her acceptance means home is wherever we are together. And God is ‘home’ for me. I can feel a sense of home praying in a hotel far away because wherever he is, home is.
But home is also a place of becoming. It’s a place that challenges us to grow and share our God-given gifts with the world. This is what Sydney gave me that Brisbane didn’t. This is what Oxford gives me now.
So this is what I’ve learnt along my search: Home is a place of belonging and becoming—where you can be who you truly are, and become who you’re truly meant to be.
Where do you find home?
Sheridan Voysey is a writer, speaker, and broadcaster on faith and spirituality. His books include Resilient: Your Invitation to a Jesus-Shaped Life, Resurrection Year: Turning Broken Dreams into New Beginnings (shortlisted for the 2014 ECPA Christian Book of the Year) and Unseen Footprints: Encountering the Divine Along the Journey of Life (2006 Australian Christian Book of the Year). He has been featured in numerous TV and radio programs, is a regular contributor to faith programs on BBC Radio 2, and speaks at conferences and events around the world. Sheridan is married to Merryn, and resides in Oxford, United Kingdom.