(10) . . . the Father. . .

I believe in the Father. I wouldn’t like to call him “Pop!” He’s somewhat above hot dogs and baseball games. I wouldn’t like to call him “Daddy,” for he’s beyond coaxing, or “Dad,” for he’s not a bit out of touch with what’s new. Nor is he “Grandpa”! I’d better not expect God to slip me any illicit favors or privileges. My Father knows what’s good for me and part of his love for me is shown by the way he brings me back to be what I ought to be, and to do what I ought to do. He disciplines me, and that’s one way by which I know he cares about me. He knows what he wants me to be and I have to learn what he considers to be important and valuable. There’s no use arguing with him about these things. My Father is the Lord God, the Creator of all that is.

How can it be that the Lord God would stoop low and tenderly say to me, “My son”? How can it be that such a one would take such infinite pains to bring me up? O Father! My Father! What a shame people think of you as a mere cosmic force, the great reasoning machine, the big push who set the universe in motion. You are Father—personal as your Son was personal. Like Father, like Son. I as your son, too, must be careful to love people as persons and not treat them merely as things I can use.

Jesus came into conflict with men because he said God was his Father, and because his Father’s plan for men cut right across his people’s whole way of life. Face to face with the prospect of dying a horrible death, he had to choose between being loyal to his Father and escaping from a cross. In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus sweated it out: “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” I wonder if, when my turn comes to choose between my loyalty to my Father in heaven and my continuance in comfortable living, I shall be able to say, “The cup which my Father hath given to me, shall I not drink it?” Or shall I tum in anger against the God who let me get into such a horrible predicament? God, grant that I shall be able to feel and say from my heart, “Father, forgive them.” Whatever I may be called upon someday to suffer, at the end may I be able to fall asleep in my Father’s arms saying, “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.”

Come what may, this is my Father’s world. Wherever I go, I am only moving about in his house. Someday I’ll be leaving this old world that l have known and loved for so long. People will say I am dead. But don’t believe them. I have just gone down the long hallway to another room in my Father’s house to have a look at some of his best treasures.