Lesson 20: "Show Me the Way to Go Home"

I believe in God.

Suppose your mother sent you with a shilling to the Co-op in Hackney Road to buy a shilling pot of marmalade, and you found that the price had gone down to elevenpence. On your way home you looked in Forecast’s window in Dunloe Street, and saw a box of Mars, a penny each. “Buy it,” one voice inside you might say; “mum won’t know.” “Don’t,” would certainly answer another voice inside you; “that would be stealing.”

It is another thing that tells us of God.

'Everybody has been made by God “in his own image” (Genesis 1, 27). This means that each of us is something like God, not to look at, not in our outward bodily appearances, but in our inward souls. This is why none of us is really happy without God. Sin is often nice to think about, and sometimes rather fun to do. But afterwards we always wish that wo hadn’t done it. We are not happy when we have told lies, stolen (though I simply love Mars too), been unkind, or stayed away from the sacraments. Perhaps we pretend we don’t care; but, really, deep down inside us, we wish that we were truthful, honest, gentle, making our confessions and communions. For that is how we have been made by God, “The Good One.”

Everybody has a conscience. This is God’s Voice. It is, so to say, your heavenly compass. It does not tell you which is the north; but it does, and always will, tell you what is right and what is wrong. You can obey its still small voice, like Elijah (1 Kings 19, 9 to 13): or you can refuse to obey. But it always goes on saying “Don’t do this,” “You ought to do that.” Some people say they can’t believe in God, because they can’t hear him. What is really the matter is that they won't hear him, refuse to listen to conscience.

Like you, when you are playing cricket in Yorkton Street, mother calls you, and you pretend not to hear her: (then she rolls up her right sleeve, and shouts “Come on, you; or I won’t ’arf pay yer" - and I don’t blame her), my conscience is my heavenly compass; and is another reason for saying I believe in God.