"I will be your
father figure ... put your tiny hand in mine ... I will be your preacher
teacher ... Anything you have in mind ... I will be your father figure
... I have had enough of crime ... (So I am gonna love you) ... Until
the end of time ... I will be your father ... I will be your preacher
... I will be your daddy ... I will be the one who loves you until the
end of time" - George Michael,
Lyrics - "Father Figure"
This Sunday, June 17th is "Father's
Day" ... and it is a wonderful opportunity for us to examine our
relationship to our physical father and our Spiritual Father. Both
these relationships are of great importance to us as we experience this
Thing Called Life. Many of us have wonderful relationships with
our physical fathers and many of us do not ... the same can be said of
our relationship with our Spiritual Father. Our experiences have a
great deal to do with the relationship as we see it in our mind.
In other words, what are/were our expectations of our father? ... and
have these expectations been met or not? And, most importantly,
what has our role been in this relationship?
I believe that the majority of people who read
this message are from a Judeo-Christian background or are at least
familiar with these religions. Judaism, Christianity, Islam and
the Bahá'í Faith see God as a being who created the world and who
rules over the universe. These religions believe in a God
that we "pray to" ... rather than a God that we "pray
from." And in this, religion has created a
"separation" from God. Some religions have created
deities that we must "please" in order to reach God.
But in Truth, our relationship with God is even
more personal and more intimate than even our relationship with our
physical Father. And as we understand this, our ability to
"pray from" rather than "pray to" God will be
It is our inherent desire to seek love,
guidance and protection from our fathers. And this is why the
Master Mind Jesus referred to God as "Father." He was
intentionally creating a bridge to God with a "word" in which
people could relate. He wanted to teach others how to
"experience" an intimate relationship with a God of
unconditional love, who, prior to his time on earth was thought of as an
angry, withholding, judgmental and punishing God. He stated that
our Father-God was like our earthly father: "Would any of you
fathers give your son a stone if he asked for bread? Or would you give a
snake if he asked for a fish?" This was a masterful teaching
that clearly shows that our relationship with God is personal and
intimate. Just like our relationship with our physical fathers.
It was also the Master Mind Jesus that gave us the
statement from what is commonly referred to as the "Lord's
Prayer" that, for many people, still puts God separate and apart
from us. The words, "Our Father which art in heaven ..."
have been misunderstood for centuries. These words simply
mean, when my thoughts are "heavenly" meaning "directed
towards God" ... God is Present in my mind.
As we realize that God is the "giver"
... the "provider" and protector ... we understand that these
are the attributes that our physical fathers are to emulate. In
other words, God is the ultimate "Father Figure" ... the true
example or role model for fathers. And to the measure that fathers
strive to emulate God in these things ... the more they are fulfilling
their role as "father." In reality, men who have
realized their role as father to be similar to that of Father-God, have
taken on these attributes with integrity and with a genuine love for
their role as father. But, not everyone can state that their
father on Earth was similar to the "Father" that the Master
Mind Jesus taught so much about. But, we need not feel despair or
sadness regarding this, as our ultimate Father has never
"forsaken" us. As we look beyond our physical father to
the Father within ... we will find that we are provided for and we are
living in the protection and guidance of Infinite Spirit ... our Father
that we find in our thoughts turned toward heavenly things.
This Father's Day, let us
take the time to feel the love and gratitude that is normal and natural
towards our fathers. No matter what our relationship has been with
our fathers, let us remember that no matter what may have been our
experience with them, each of them have done their best. Their
"best" may not appear to be, or have been, so pleasant for all
of us ... but it was/is their best nonetheless. And as we realize
this for our fathers, we are emulating our ultimate Father's greatest
gift to mankind ... unconditional love.
SO IT IS!
Dr. Henry Lee Bates