by Cynthia Ruchti

It’s a question I often ask when sitting in a plane with someone who made it clear they wanted to be left alone during the flight. Headphones firmly planted. Nose just a little closer than necessary to the book they’re reading. Eyes closed before the plane taxis away from the jetway.

I’ve been that person, when the reason for the trip exhausted me or thoughts swirling in my brain needed time to untangle themselves.

The trip passes to the roar of the engines and other conversations.

When the plane lands, the passenger beside me disengages from headphones or book or sleep and we prepare to collect our belongings and ourselves.

“Is this home for you? Or are you going on to someplace else?”

The last time I asked those questions, the answer opened wide the doors of conversation. A young woman. Home at last after a many-legged flight from the Philippines where she’d met her father’s girlfriend. She’d stayed in a plush hotel in Manila for part of the trip, and journeyed into the mountains to the remote village where the girlfriend’s multi-generational family lived in a simple hut.

Home. Home at last. My fellow traveler had ridden a truck, a bus, island hopped in a small plane for the next leg of her journey on an even smaller plane before her transcontinental flights that eventually led her to seat 26B.

“Is this home, or are you headed someplace else?” 

This project. Is it home, or layover in the journey? This place physically, emotionally, spiritually? Have I landed here or am I still moving, still looking ahead to a goal not yet realized?

Is this all the prayerful I’ll ever be? All the loving, forgiving? Have I plateaued right here in the realm of maturity? Have I acted as if I’m already home, with no more miles to log? No more destinations in mind? No more assignments to fulfill?

I’m not home yet.

So, I “reach out for the things ahead of me. The goal I pursue is the prize of God’s upward call in Christ Jesus,” Philippians 3:14 CEB.

Is this–where you are right now–home for you? Or are you headed someplace else?

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in hope. She’s anticipating the May 2015 release of her fourth novel with Abingdon Press–As Waters Gone By. She serves as the professional relations liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers. You can learn more about others of her fourteen books or her speaking events for women at