This is probably the only question that matters to members of all religions.
This post would like to include as many as possible religions that view God as a parental figure. The assumption is that earthly parents inherit this parental construct from God, and as such we can hopefully learn something about God by looking at ourselves.
I can confidently state that I am a good father. Now as a good parent, how do I address my children‘s ability (need, desire, and hope) to succeed?
Here are some rules:
- They must accomplish what is important to them (not me).
- They must accomplish the majority of the outcomes by (and for) themselves.
- If they show resolve, the amount of assistance they receive will exceed their expectation.
- They must learn and grow through these experiences (good and bad).
- Securing and retaining help is not conditional on success or failure.
- If they succeed they get the praise; if they fail, they get compassion and understanding.
- The only way to stop the help pouring in is to stop trying to achieve their own goals.
- Win or lose; succeed or fail; does not affect the love they receive.
- They may have to re-learn some lessons until they accomplish them faultlessly.
- To succeed or win they need to fulfil their own goals in a manner acceptable to them.
So if this is true of me just a human parent; should we not expect the same if not more from the heavens?
Obviously there is some expectation of reciprocated love, but I can tell you from my own personal experience; this is not a requirement. A human parent can love a child, even if that child is not aware of his/her existence. (I am sure many could comment on this statement and corroborate the truth therein.)
So how do we ask for help?
Interestingly there are many ritualistic ways in which to achieve this, but as a parent, I can let you in on a secret……
- If one of my children has already started something on their own, they can merely show it to me and hint… (No formalities required)
- The second best way to do it is to involve the parent in the planning phase. The key here is to ask a lot of advice. Listen to the advice….. (What can I say?) The parent will not require that you execute like a zombie on what they have instructed; they would rather welcome initiative, thought, consideration and application of this advice into the problem to yield the best possible chance of achieving the goal.
- The one that I can tell you that does not work is where a child simply drops the problem in your lap and expects you to address it on their behalf.
Once the goal is achieved or failure attained, what are you expected to do?
- Win or lose, give thanks. (Praise may not hurt)
- Acknowledge the contribution to success that the help privately. (The child should be able to recognise just how much the help meant.)
- If it is a failure consider truthfully just what a difference it could have made if you used the help in another way.
Is God the only source of help?
If you have or had parents, family, friends, teachers, colleagues, or simply people you have met; you will notice that they all have one thing in common.
They all want you achieve a singular thing – fulfilment.
It is the strangest thing. In your lifetime you will not meet many people that wish failure, defeat or misfortune upon you. So why can we recognise this extraordinarily big source of help?
There are a few things on this planet that multiply when you give it away. Love, compassion, understanding, acceptance and joy are some of these things. It seems the more you give, the more you receive in return.
Help is one of these strange things. The more you help others, the more help you will receive. Being willing is not good enough – You have to do it…
I have a picture in my head – I see God Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, Omnipotent in power and grace sitting at the edge of the throne, head bent forward, straining, listening, expecting you to acknowledge that you need help.
- Parenting: Raise Independent Children (psychologytoday.com)
- Creating God in Your Parents’ Image (parenting.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Parenting: Expectations of Success: Benefit or Burden (psychologytoday.com)