08 Jan Our Father is Young, and We are Old
As we get older, we tend to think of God as a cranky old man in the sky who points His finger, furrows His brow, and raises His voice. In return, we then think that to be godly is to be cranky. This mindset explains why the children never ran to the Pharisees and sat on their laps or played with them—they were cranky, grumpy, and irritable, not cheerful and fun like Jesus. It also explains why being with religious people is similar to being at the dentist minus the pain reliever to make it tolerable.
The truth is, God the Father is not a cranky old man. G. K. Chesterton said, “Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, ‘Do it again’; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. Is it possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.” (Gilbert K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy. (New York: John Lane Company, 1909), 108–109).
God is not old; God is eternal. The difference is infinite. Baseball gloves, white bread, and today’s pop music grow old, stiff, moldy, and outdated. God does not get old. God is not winding down like a grandpa or the car he drives. God is eternal and without sin, which means He is young, strong, and alive, unlike the rest of us worn out and worn-down sinners.
Sometimes, when we pray to God, we feel as if we are bugging Him. We’ve all asked God the same thing over and over. When someone does this to us, we don’t have the energy to endure it. So, we interrupt them, report that they are repeating themselves, and ask them to move on and not waste our time and energy telling the same story or asking the same questions. We do this because we have sinned and grown old. Maybe God is not like us? Perhaps God is more like a child. If you’ve spent any time with a child, you will quickly realize they have a remarkable capacity to do the same thing over and over—and enjoy it with fresh energy every time.
What observations come to mind when you think about relating to God the Father as kids who have a healthy and happy relationship with their dad?
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