I recently had a conversation with my Dad. No, my Heavenly Dad. Does that wording sound strange? Did it take you by surprise? Interesting, isn't it?
Ok maybe you are perfectly comfortable thinking and talking about our God in that way, with that language, but I have to admit I'm not so much. With me, "Heavenly Father" is as close as I get. Maybe it's simply about respect. But I suspect for me, it's more than that.
This all started on my Wallowa Mountains backpacking trip in July. On this particular day I was by myself exploring the other side of a lake. I set my tired body down, and my stuff. I removed my glasses to relax my eyes. I noticed an amazing creek across the way with abundant wildflowers and went to investigate. It was so beautiful and I was quickly lost in my typical wilderness rapture. And you know, when the emotions are in hyper drive, the brain sometimes shuts off. I went back to retrieve my belongings, but left my glasses behind.
Later I returned to get them but they were not where I thought I left them! These were not only my close-up reading glasses, but my sunglasses as well. It was TWO big problems I didn't need with 20 more miles to go on our bright and sunny trip, not to mention an expense upon my return home.
So I reacted in typical fashion - I yelled for God. I perceived Him near because I was in crisis and went LOOKING for Him (just like teenagers, huh?). "God can you PLEASE help me find my glasses?!" No response. Then comes "the pact", right? (I won't tell you what was promised). Still nothing. Then I distinctly heard Him answer "I'm your Dad. I care about you." Soon I found my glasses, but I have not forgotten about the interaction.
As I have since processed this, I've noticed that in all our worship, the emphasis is all towards God (as it should be). But how often do we really feel Him "worship" us back? Ok, likely too strong a word, but can't it sometimes be a bit too easy to avoid intimacy with someone we look up to, by focusing all on them? Or we too easily put ourselves down and diminish our good points? Is it possible that there could be some "false humility" here, by staying on a "formal name basis" with our Heavenly Dad? I'm just poking here, but it has me thinking.
Certainly we have all heard that God is relational, and relational is always a two-way street. I remember the father of the prodigal son running out to not only greet, but hug and kiss his son. Then came the big bash. This is the same son who squandered his father's money, took him for granted, even distain, and attempted to ruin his life and the family name. Money, ego, and social status could have easily come between them both, but the father made sure that didn't happen. He was still Dad, and his son was still his son.
What a powerful picture, and the scriptures are full of so many more.