I had a friend drop by for a visit, and on this lazy Sunday afternoon I suddenly find myself swimming in some cliches – “Home is where the heart is”, and “Friends are the family we choose.” Now a cliche is essentially an over-used expression, yet many of them carry a deep truth.

I love my family and wouldn’t change them for the world. I love my home equally. Since I travel much and spend a lot of time away from home, when I am at home I really treasure the time. For me home is a place of contentment and peace, and above all, home is where my family are. It makes sense then, when being away from home, to recreate that place of contentment wherever we go – hence the expression ‘home is where the heart is’. No matter where I find myself in the world, the spaces I occupy must have the same sense of peace and contentment.

While I love my family, we are by no stretch of the imagination perfect. Indeed, I don’t think a perfect family exists. But by birth and blood we are thrown together in this life to make the most of it through a place of unconditional love, support, protection and simply togetherness. Through the good and bad times. Family remains family.

Friends, on the other hand, are chosen. These people choose to be my friend, and also choose to be a friend to me. When choosing friends, there are certain criteria that they must abide by. Criteria? Well, yes, the criteria that make family family, must make friends… well, family! Good friends ultimately take the same place in our hearts as family do, and enjoy the same benefits and privileges as what blood and birth dictate. Love, safety, forgiveness and togetherness.

Some of my friends you have met previously, like Waldo & Woof, as well as some serious lessons from my friend Red; Captain is not always so vocal, but I am sure some of his wisdom will be shared in the near future. Along the way you will get to meet a number of my friends who encourage and inspire me. My friends, are my family I chose.

What then does all this mean for my friendship with God? Exactly the same! God calls me His friend, and gives me with the the privileges of family: unconditional love, safety, protection, and provision. Amazing! A parallel between birth & blood, and my spiritual travels.