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Home is where the heart is - Chester Cook

Home is a word that describes a state of being rather than a location. Home is the mental and emotional state of trust, peace, contentment and love.

Sometimes, houses we live in do not have the sense of home. It takes several years of living in a house to break it in, and hopefully, one day it begins to feel like home.

This past week pain struck close to home. I have been spending hours and days in an Atlanta hospital. My 79-year-old father developed a heart problem during an EKG stress test. The problem landed him in the emergency room, and two days later, in the operating room having quadruple by-pass surgery.

I only mention this to say that, whenever I am near him, home happens. In a cold,dank ICU room, home dispels the pain and fear.

My father's heart is once again beating with the cadence of a bass drum. It won't be long before he will be back on the golf course with me, or slicing the Thanksgiving turkey with the family all around, or blowing out the candles on his 80th birthday.

Regardless, wherever he is, in this world or in heaven, he takes home with him.

I hope that I will be able to offer my loved ones the same sense of home. I want others to feel contentment in our friendship. I desire to bring peace into the stress and chaos of the world. I want to be a trustworthy individual so that people will be able to trust me.

This is critical in a day when so many people betray trust and so few can be trusted. But most of all I want to love God and I want to love others.

When you are faced with the reality of what matters in life, like I have encountered this week, I believe you will feel the same as I do.

Spending more time at work, complaining about you neighbor's yard, and worrying about the gas shortage will all lose their importance when placed in the perspective of life and death.

Take some time this week, today, now -- to find your way home.

If you have any comments on this column, or any other subject, please contact me at chaplain@airportchapel.org.