Views on politics and current events

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Heavenly Father

We were all born of parents, and those who were fortunate were raised by parents or parent figures. The time came for most of us to rebel against the loving care of our parents and make our own way in the world. A wise parent understood that rebellion was part of maturing for their children. While it may have been painful, the good parent accepted it and the child that once depended on those parents for everything now was on their own, hopefully mature enough to make their way in the world and be responsible for their actions.

If that is the normal process of growing up, then can the same process be valid for a person's spiritual life? I was taught in Sunday school the stories of the bible, and of God the holy father. Like any good parent, God tried to teach me right from wrong through the bible and the teachings of the sunday school teachers. But there came a time that I rebelled against the notion of a heavenly father. Was I to be a spiritual child all my life, when I did not remain as a child to my parents?

For me, I sucessfully rebelled against my parent's authority and made my way in the world. Fended for myself, used what they had taught me to survive and thrive. And while I rebelled, I did not lose respect for my parents. I was fortunate in that both of them were not only the people that brought me into the world and nurtured me, but became good friends as well.

It is the same for the heavenly father. For me there no longer is a 'father' in heaven that watches over me. I have not lost respect for that notion, for it still is a very big part of many people's spiritual lives. But that heavenly father has now become integral to me, dwells within me. Is as much a part of me as the color of my eyes. Is that a sign of spiritual maturity? Perhaps.

But I am certain that the kingdom of God that Jesus spoke so often about is not something that will happen with the destruction of the world and the final judgement. It has already happened. It is here right now. For all people, for all races, for all cultures. What was once called the heavenly father to me has become the spirit. And it shows us the way if we are able to see. Not a spirit full of wild-eyed miracles of people raised from the dead, the healing of the sick, the parting of the sea. The growing of a sunflower from a small seed to a plant ten feet tall in but three months is miracle enough for me.

A spirit that not only is present within me, but present within every living thing. A spirit that represents love, and shows me that the only one I need to answer to is myself. The spirit is not authoritarian, does not judge, does not condone. It can nag at me to do the things I should through my conscience, but yet give me solace within myself for the inevitable times when I do wrong. The heavenly father has come down to earth, and resides in me.

1 comment:

Dean said...

I'm with you all the way, Alan...with the possible exception of the "down to earth" part. That fatherly spirit never had to make the journey. For me, it was always here.

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