Excerpted from The Quest
The shrill whistle of the River Queen pierced the stillness as the majestic paddleboat rounded a bend in the Mississippi. A handful of fishermen along with a small boy waved from the levee in excitement and awe.
"Let me ride! Let me ride!" yelled the boy, waving wildly and jumping up and down as the boat was about to slip by. One of the fishermen tried to calm the child, explaining that the River Queen was a large and important boat and could not stop to give rides to little boys. Yet the boy persisted, and all the more animatedly waved and shouted, "Let me ride!"
Imagine the stares of disbelief when the great boat edged its way to the levee and a gangplank was lowered so that one small boy cou1d scamper onto the large deck.
Then all at once the captain appeared, arms outstretched toward the child. "Daddy, Daddy!" called the boy, as he jumped into his father's loving arms.
YOUR REAL PARENT
Jesus explained that earthly fathers want to give their children everything they can, and yet so much greater is God's desire to give us everything. "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." God denies you nothing.
It's true that not every earthly father is a paragon of loving kindness who gives the very best he can give. (Who of us is always operating from that divinity within?) While in general it is natural for fathers to want to protect and nurture their young, even the most perfect of earthly fathers, no matter how loving and well intentioned, is unable to know exactly what is best for his child or is capable of endlessly giving unlimited good to that child. Yet God is.
In a very real sense, God is the true parent of us all. We were created to be the vehicles through which God can best express. Surely this gives us some hint of the absolute love and care which are invested in each of us.
It is easy to say, "I am a child of God." Many of us learned to say it in Sunday school when we were small: "I am a child of God. I am a child of God." It trips off the tongue so glibly, yet how many of us know what we are saying? How many of us understand what those words imply? How many of us, when we say it, internalize it and feel the far-reaching impact of those words?
Jesus often referred to God as "Father." The prayer which He taught us began with "Our Father," and those two words alone contain just about everything we have to know about ourselves and our relationship to God and to each other. This one small phrase tells us we are all created by and loved by the Creator, which makes the entire human race brothers and sisters in the truest sense of the words. Each of us has an equal claim to all that the Father has.