Earlier today (2 Dec 2010), journalist and twitterer Mia Freedman posted a fascinating short article (very short, actually) to her blog. Here’s what she said:
Just a small question to ponder today. How about it? So. My 4yo daughter and I are watching some kids show and someone mentions saying your prayers. My daughter says: “What does saying your prayers mean?”
Me: “Oh, that’s before you go to bed when you say thank you to God for your family and your friends and everything that’s good.”
Her: “Who’s God?”
This question took me totally by surprise and I really didn’t have an answer I prepared earlier…
Undoubtedly, I got my answer wrong. I kind of stammered and stumbled and mumbled something about “Someone who some people believe created the world and lives in the sky” and before the words were even out of my mouth, I was rolling my eyes at myself for my lame-ness…
So what would you say? What do you believe God is? Do you even believe in God? And how would you answer a 4yo who wanted to know what God was?
The comments are even more interesting in their own way; so far, at 5.00pm, there are 113 and counting. What all this tells us is that notions of spirituality, religion, theism and ultimate reality are not just up for grabs but up for serious consideration — and reconsideration.
So tell me, who or what is God? How would you describe “God” to a wide-eyed four-year-old? Or a worldly-wise 44-year-old?
Theologian, researcher, teacher, writer, foodie, husband, dad. Works at Moore Theological College.