Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
The boys were playing football in the park when a rather enthusiastic kick sent the ball close to the couple of old men sitting on a bench reading their newspapers. “Oi! Watch it!” one called out. “Sorry Granpop” replied the lad as he collected the ball. “Kids nowadays! No respect for their elders!” the old man went on. “Weren’t like that in my day. Step out of line and Dad would take his belt to you! That’s proper discipline. Never did me no harm”. “Half the kids nowadays don’t know who their Dad is!” his mate responded “They change partners as often as they change their socks”.
Not sure I agree with corporal punishment as a deterrent and I suspect they were looking at the past through rose coloured spectacles, but there.
Of course, we do know our Father. We speak to Him every time we recite the Lord’s Prayer, although He does seem to be a bit distant. ‘Our Father which art in heaven’ we say. That implies way above the skies, and since recent space exploration has not yet found Him, God must be on a walk about somewhere, in the same way the ancients regarded their gods striding the heavens. We do have a whole book about Him that we call the Bible but from the Old Testament we may get the impression that He is a severe judge dealing harshly with offenders against His Law – fire and brimstone rather than a leather strap. Yet His Son painted a different picture of His, and Our Father. Jesus taught that God loves and cares for us and that whatever we do He is always ready to welcome us back if only we truly repent and want to return to Him. Now that really is something; God the Creator of the universe has time to care for me! And, please note this, He cares not only for me but for each and every one of us without exception. There are no humanly imposed qualifications on His love for mankind. One further and most valuable consideration is this; He has promised, as the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews says: ’God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”’ Hebrews 13:5 NIV. So the terrors of the darkest night will fade; the insurmountable obstacle can be overcome; all fear and worry can be put to one side for God will always walk with you. He will never leave you or forsake you. You can be assured of that.
There can only be one response to that. Thanks be to God.
I am an Authorised Local Preacher in an Anglo Catholic parish church, in the Diocese of Essex UK