Creed: How Do You Picture God?
- Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Editor's Note: Creed is an ongoing series that discusses the core beliefs of Christianity as expressed in the Apostle's and Nicene creeds. Links to the other articles are listed at the end of this installment.
When I was a little girl—probably in the fifth grade or so—my Sunday school teacher asked our class a very important question: What do you ‘picture’ when you think of God?
I can still see the group of us sitting there. The oblong room was bright with sunlight pouring through the wall of windows facing north. The opposite wall was decorated with a morning’s worth of construction paper arts and crafts (fifth graders in those days weren’t as savvy as today). Young boys and girls sat obediently around a long fold-out table; the boys wearing dark slacks, white shirts and clip-on ties, and the girls wearing frou-frou dresses, Mary Janes, and frilly socks.
I don’t remember what I said when it came my turn to answer. But I do distinctly remember Molly’s reply. “I always thought that God,” she said, “looked like a giant squirrel with a big fluffy tail.” Then her brow furrowed. “But now that I’m grown up, I’m not so sure.”
Well, Molly…now we really are grown up…and I can honestly say most of us still have a “giant squirrel” mentality when it comes to God.
The Confusion of: In Whom We Believe….
I always hate it when I get two sides to the same story; especially during the years my husband and I were raising our children.
Anyone who has ever guided more than one child into adulthood can relate to the scene I’m about to describe. It’s a quiet Saturday afternoon. Earlier in the day, with the “work week” behind you, you got caught up on the housework or the lawn work, according to your role in the family. The kids slept a little later today than on school days, slurped cereal as they watched cartoons, bringing a warm smile to your heart. Even the oldest of your bunch, nearly a teen, still gets a kick out of an hour with Bugs and Wile E. Coyote. Later, lunch is served—grilled cheese and chips—and then you shoo the little darlin’s outside. It’s your time.
Perhaps you’ve grabbed a few moments to read a book. Or stretch out on the sofa for a nap or your weekly fix of sports. Doesn’t matter. The point is…it’s quiet. It’s your time. Then, out of the blue, you hear the rumblings of unrest. You sit up, then venture out to determine if your supervision and authority is needed…and that’s when it hits you. The Civil War has come to your home.
“He hit me,” one says, to which the other replies, “She hit me first!” followed by “Did not!” and “Did so!”
And, as any good parent would do, you attempt to determine who is telling the truth. Or, like the majority of us, you simply say, “Both of you…go to your rooms.”
God the Father Almighty
Unlike when our children erupt in discord, when it comes to believing in God, we are not left with a choice. We cannot believe in “this part,” but not “that part.” We must believe in the totality of God or nothing at all.
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