In order to banish fear, I think it is necessary to train the thought to seeing God as expressing Himself in all the good and pleasant and enjoyable things that come to us. This means forming a habit. It means saying to oneself daily, hourly, “This is God,” “That is God,” of incidents, persons, and things we have rarely thought of in that relation. To do this is not as easy as it would be if our race-mind worked that way; but unfortunately it does not. In general, we take our good things for granted, complaining that they are not better. The things we lack are more vivid to us, as a rule, than those we have acquired. Having hung, as it were, a cloud about ourselves.. we disregard the uncountable ways in which God persists in shining through, in spite of our efforts to shut Him out.

To try to enumerate the uncountable would be folly. You cannot reckon the good which comes to every one of us through such channels as family, home, friendship, income, business, amusements, studies, holidays, journeys, sports, books, pictures, music, and the other hardly noticed pleasures of any single day. We are used to them. To ascribe them especially to God would seem to us far-fetched. That is, theoretically we may ascribe them to God, but practically we dissociate Him from them. Few of us, I think, ever pause to remember that through them, He is making Himself known to us before doing it in any other way.

And yet, it seems to me, this is the beginning of our recognition of the Divine. I have little hesitation in saying that this is what parents should teach children before they teach them to lisp prayers. The prayers have hardly any meaning to the baby-mind, and not much more than a sentimental influence on the later life, if they have as much as that. But any child, from the very budding of the intelligence, could grasp the idea of a great, loving Super-Father, who was making Himself visible through gifts and care. If he prayed to Him, later he would know to whom he was praying. As it is, the later prayers are neglected, or definitely given up, oftener than not, because this is precisely what the child does not know. He does not know it, because he was never taught it; and he was never taught it, because his parents have probably not been aware of it themselves.


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