Thursday, September 16, 2010

Is God Real, Dad?

That was the question that I was presented with this morning. My boy was watching the news about the Pope's UK visit while I made his lunch.

My Mother was a staunch and faithful Catholic. My sister believes, though certainly isn't as staunch a Catholic as my Mother was. I, on the other hand, do not believe in God.

"I don't know." I answered.

"Because one of my friends said if you don't say prayers every day you'll die young."

"Well, that, for sure, isn't true. My Mother prayed every single day and she died young. And your Mum did too... When you die isn't related to how often you pray."

"Ok," he asked, seemingly content with that before asking, "So do you think God's real?"

Urgh. No getting around the "do you think" element of that. But I do believe some tactful white lying is necessary with children of a certain age and I want my son to make his own decisions about religion. He's 6 and he likes me to think that everything he does is "cool." And I do :) But what I don't want is for him to decide that religion isn't for him on the grounds that I don't believe. So I answered,

"I really don't know. I've spent all my life wondering, actually. When you look at how amazing the planet is and how everything works, well... I kind of thing something pretty powerful must have played a part in making all that. But I don't know for sure what that was, you know?"

He was quiet and scuttled off to his bedroom to fetch his school shoes. Upon returning he said,

"I think it was God, Dad. I think God made the planet. But I might not pray every single day. I don't think God will mind if I forget as long as it's because I'm busy doing good things."

What a beautiful outlook :)

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