The Annoying, but Occasionally Insightful
from Father Fiction
Here is how this broke down after having thought about it for a long time: I used to feel a kind of hopelessness about life. I assumed life was against me, that whatever bad could happen to a person was going to happen to me, It was as though there was a current I was swimming against. But it was studying this passage that changed some of that thinking. God is fathering me. God is fathering us. I know that if God loves me and wants me to succeed as much as John loves his kids and wants them to succeed, then life cannot be hopeless.
But another idea that occurred to me was I needed to change the way I understand spirituality. What I mean is, I need to allow God to father me. I needed to acknowledge him as Father and submit. Traditional language might use the term repentance. In part, this meant admitting I wanted autonomy from God, admitting I waned my own way, and asking him to change my heart. One of the issue I deal with having grown up without a father is a kind of resentment at the mention of actually needing a dad. I had to admit I needed one.
The prose is a reason that I find myself reading so few recent books on Christian Spirituality. Nearly everything about it is off-putting. That said, I'm obviously not the demographic for this work, and perhaps this bleak wasteland of semantic absurdity hits its target.
Regardless of how it is said, the important point is what is said. It is a point that needs to be made in simple, clear language--unfettered by the religion-speak that can clutter works like these. Because it gets wrapped up in such difficult concepts as repentance and being "born again," the essential truth of it can be lost in the confusion of terminology.