ACub Scout troop was sleeping out under the stars; at least that's what their Scoutmaster thought. He was snoring away while the boys were telling stories, pondering life and looking at the Milky Way. One boy said, "What do you suppose God is really like?"
The boy whose dad ran a manufacturing plant said, "God is like a plant manager. He goes around telling the angels what stars to make. After they make one, he inspects it to make sure it's quality, and then he ships it out so another crew of angels can install it in the sky."
The boy whose dad was a policeman said, "No, that's not who God is. God is like a policeman looking for people who break his laws. When they do, God catches them and makes them pay for what they've done."
The boy whose dad was a lawyer said, "No, that's not who God is. God is like a judge. The angels go out and catch everyone when they die. Then God judges them based on what they did. Then he sends them upstairs if they're good or downstairs if they're bad."
The boy whose dad was rich said, "No, that's not who God is. God is like Santa Claus. All you have to do is ask him for something, and he brings it to you when he gets home from his trips. And if you don't get what you want, you hold your breath until you turn blue, and then God will give you what you want."
The boy whose dad left when he was born said, "No, that's not who God is. God makes you and then leaves you alone to figure everything out for yourself."
The boy who was being raised by his grandfather said, "No, that's not who God is. God is old, and he has arthritis. You have to be real quiet around him. But you can get away with a lot of stuff because he doesn't see too well or hear too well either."
The boy whose dad was an accountant said, "No, that's not who God is. God makes sure everything is in its place. God doesn't tolerate mistakes. You'll be OK with God as long as you stay within the lines."
The boy whose dad was a solider said, "No that's not who God is. God fights the devil. He and the angels are fighting the devil and the demons. The angels fly around and shoot arrows of gold, while the demons catapult balls of fire back."
One boy, who didn't have a dad, stayed quiet. The other boys prodded him: "Hey Billy! Who do you think God is?"
A moment passed. Then Billy spoke up and said, "God is my Father in heaven."
In heaven, God sighed and cried at the same time.
Clay Smith is the lead pastor of Alice Drive Baptist Church, 1305 Loring Mill Road, www.adbc.org.