When I was a child, maybe I was about 3 or 4 I spent a lot of time with God. I recall more a feeling of it, wandering outside of the house wondering about the natural world about me, always questioning and exploring the back yard, the garden, looking up in the sky. I’d ask God many things, perhaps not so much in words but without words and I’d feel Him there, a loving presence always able to provide me with some sense of what I wanted to know. It’s hard to actually say what I wanted to know and what I found out, but it’s a memory of something I’m sure about.
Once I put God to a test, or perhaps it was more a test for myself. A test of faith you might call it. I remember clearly looking up into the sky and seeing that the clouds were coming in quite heavily. I knew this wouldn’t be a sunny day, so I asked God – “if you are here, can you make the clouds disappear?” I watched the sky to see what would happen. Then I noticed the clouds disperse from around the sun and the day became bright and I’m sure I had a big smile on my face.
That day left a big impact on me, it’s something that I know in my heart I’ve carried with me even when I convinced myself that God wasn’t a reality in my life as I grew older and became much more discerning about the world or so I thought. How I know this is that always, without a doubt in my darkest moments I prayed to that same God that cared enough to implant the seed of faith in me then, I don’t know why but it happened. I might not call it an unmovable faith that moves mountains but more a stubborn certainty that my intellect could never quite remove, no matter how smart I believed myself to get.
There’s one thing that also stuck. It was analogy I think I heard at school that I probably put my own interpretation of on. You might have heard it before, the footprints in the sand? If you haven’t heard it, it goes like this…
Thinking about his journey, the man asked God “I can see my footprints and yours in the sand behind us, I saw that you were with me all those times when my life was good, however when it was hard and when I really needed you most, you left me and I can see only one set of footprints left. Why did you leave me God when I most needed you?”
God then answered with a smile, “my son, I would never leave you, all those times when you were down and when you needed me most, that is when I carried you in my arms”