1 a: to go back or come back again <return home> b: to go back in thought, practice, or condition : revert
2: to pass back to an earlier possessor
3: reply , retort
1 a: to give (as an official account) to a superior bBritish : to elect (a candidate) as attested by official report or returns c: to bring back (as a writ or verdict) to an office or tribunal
2 a: to bring, send, or put back to a former or proper place b: to restore to a former or to a normal state
3 a: to send back : visit —usually used with on or upon bobsolete : retort
4: to bring in (as profit) : yield
5 a: to give or perform in return : repay <return a compliment> ; also : to respond to in kind <returned his calls> b: to give back to the owner c: reflect <return an echo>
6: to cause (as a wall) to continue in a different direction (as at a right angle)
7: to lead (a specified suit or specified card of a suit) in response to a partner's earlier lead
8 a: to hit back (a ball or shuttlecock) b: to run with (a football) after a change of possession (as by a punt or a fumble)
Where is home for you? Are you returning to where you were, who you were, before God made you a citizen of His kingdom? Or are you returning to where God wants you and who he envisioned you being when he created you?
Even though Ruth had never been to the homeland of her mother-in-law, Naomi, she asks to return there with her. We'll probably never know exactly why. Many scholars have theories as to why Ruth wanted to return with Naomi rather than go back to her mother's home, as Naomi tells her to do. Any number of these theories could be right - or wrong.
My own (uneducated) theory is that God had started to change Ruth during the time of her marriage to one of his people. Ruth saw who she had been and got a glimpse of who God was changing her to be. She probably also saw that even though Naomi was bitter and felt wronged by God, she stilled called out to him, she still returned to his people and she still called upon him to bless her daughters-in-law. Even in the midst of her suffering, Naomi believed in her God and his power.
No matter where we call home now - a one-story ranch, a two-story contemporary or an arts and crafts bungalow - we should remember that we are not permanent residents. We are sojourners here and should be returning to a homeland that our hearts cry out for, not returning to this world, which is bereft of eternal hope.