Monday, June 1, 2009

A Child's Q&A About Heaven

Sometimes, the joys of parenthood resurface suddenly like a burst of sunshine breaking through a cloudy day. Yesterday was one of those blessed days while waiting for my wife in the car with my two children seated at the back.

Out of the blue, my five-year old son asked me a series of philosophical and moral questions which kept my mind pondering on how the world is viewed by a young toddler.

Child: "Papa, why did God made the world?"

"God created the world so that we can glorify Him."

Child: "Why are Christians so important?"

"Christians may not be important to other people but we are very important to God because we can build a better world and help other people be saved by God."

Child: "But Papa, why did God create a world that has bad people?"

(This question surprised me for a moment and I had to think how to explain to a 5-year old about original sin, free will and creation.)

Father: "God did not create bad people. He allowed people to choose to be good or be evil. Like Adam and Eve in the Garden, God gave them a beautiful garden to live in but they disobeyed Him. God actually created a beautiful world: look, we have good food to eat, good weather and many great places to see: the mountains, the lakes and forests."

Child: "I know. Eve ate the apple and gave it to Adam. Why did she listen to the snake?"

Father: "She listened to the snake because she was deceived (lied to) by the snake, which is the devil. The snake said she will be like God after eating the apple. This made God very angry because God wants us to worship Him and not worship ourselves."

(Silence as he pondered what I said.)

"In the Garden, God also created a world where the lion and the lamb can lie side by side in peace and be friends with each other. If you go to Paradise in Heaven, you will see all the animals living there."

Child: "Papa, will I go to Heaven? Will I get new wings?"

Father: "Yes, you will because you believe in Jesus. In Heaven, we will have new bodies and there will be no sickness, no death. We will be young forever. And there are no tears in Heaven."

Child (excitely declaring): "I want to go there. And I want all of us, Papa, Mama, me and baby to go there."

After a thoughtful pause, the Child said: "But Papa, I am naughty, how can I go to Heaven if I am naughty?"

Father: "Don't worry. You can be good if you ask God to help you to be good. We all have sin in us because of what Adam and Eve did. We can pray to God and ask Him to make us good each day. So don't say that you are naughty. You must always believe you are a child of God and you can do all that He is. Each day, God will change you to be a better person."

From what I can recall, these are the pieces of the conversation which we had over ten to fifteen minutes. I shall treasure these moments with my son, who is seldom so lucid and focused in his enquiries about God and the world.

And it is my prayer to God that our son will always have that heart-felt wonder and inquisitiveness about his creator and the world.

As for this blog, I shall turn inward towards more spiritual and philosophical matters from this year onwards and take a welcome break from political commentaries. We need to talk to our children more to know what kind of world awaits us and to be humbly reminded of our place in the universe.

They are truly the future and the promise of a new world.

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Do You Want To Know God?

Do You Want To Know God?
Say this: Heavenly Father, I have sinned against You. Forgive all my sins. I believe Jesus died on the cross for my sins and rose again. I give you my life to do as You wish. I want Jesus to come into my life & heart. In Jesus's name. Amen