God, Father, and Dad

On my way home from Louisville last night I was listening to a podcast from Ravi Zacharias and I realized something. I realized that when I pray with my boys I always address God as "God" and never as "Father". Now, obviously, as a sentient creature addressing my Creator there is a certain, and very intimate, relationship that I am communicating as I address Him that way. What could be more amazing than recognizing that God knows every thought, sinew, and cell in my being better than I or any scientist could? Yet, God, it seems, wants me to go even further still. He doesn't want to me to think of Him merely as my Maker. He wants me to realize that I am His son and that it is an all-together different relationship than the Creator-creature one. That is one that I can grab a hold of much more readily as I think of the godly example that my own father set for me and how he consistently shows me how to love through loving me. Maybe that is one that my sons would like to hear from me to set their hearts into a distinct direction of contemplation.

On a related but separate note, I wonder if I could go so far as call God "Dad" when I pray. I have called Him that before and it seemed natural to do when I did in the situation I was in, but I still wonder if it's appropriate. There are just some times in my life when God was more of a "Dad" to me than a "Father". I would hate to use certain words when talking to God merely to make a point or instruct my boys, but at the same time I do need to open myself up to addressing God in ways that He wants to be addressed. Is "Dad" ok? Will I be losing the reverence that I must have for the only God this universe has ever had?

And then I wonder if His heart would delight in being addressed that way as much as mine does when one of my sons calls me "Dad"? What a thrill it is! "Dad can I..." or, even better, "Dad can we..." are so sweet to my ears and I love to hear my name replaced by "Dad". Mark, and especially Francis, just doesn't have the depth of "Dad". My first, middle, and last name doesn't satisfy my soul as much as "Dad" does. I wonder if it is the same way with God? I wonder if He thrills to the sound of "Dad" more so than "God" or even "Father".

I may never know. Even when I reach heaven's shores I may never know.


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