I’m going to catch some well-deserved grief for this one, but nevertheless here goes. Feel free to comment or warn me I’m about to burn in hell for this one.
I have been very fortunate in life with wonderful friendships with both men and women. I have written about a few, but never discussed the heretical concept of a friendship with God. Yet, as I embark on my new year and think about how do I work on my spirituality, prayer life, and meditation I keep coming back to the concept of friendship.
We moved to Charlotte a couple of years ago, and found ourselves with the task of making new friends at an older age. I’d meet someone at a big function and think to myself I’d like to get to know more about that person. Isn’t that a similar situation I’m in with God? Don’t I want to get to know God better, and more importantly want him to get to know more about me. I invite a potential friend to lunch to explore common interests? Don’t I do the same when during prayer I talk to God about what’s going on in my life. Soon I’m going to a ball game with my new friend or meeting in the afternoon for a walk and talk. Doesn’t God invite us to take a walk in the garden with him in the evening breeze?
As the friendship develops my new friend is there when there’s a tragedy in the family offering support and assistance. Isn’t God waiting for a similar call when a tragedy happens giving us comfort and peace? The analogies can go on and on. George Buttrick wrote: “Prayer is friendship with God. Friendship is not formal, but it’s not formless: it has its cultivation, its behavior, its obligations, even its disciplines, and the casual mind kills it.” Friendship with God is like friendship with our dearest friend, it doesn’t need to be taken for granted or ignored.
As we begin our new year, think about renewing and deepening your friendship with God, remembering like any friendship it requires listening to what the friend has to say.