It was many years ago. The
boy was not more than ten years old as he stood beside the man
that early morning. They were both standing on the shore of the
Atlantic looking east toward the rising sun. The chill morning
air caused a slight shiver to run through the boy. The man, seeming
to know, without even looking, took off his jacket and draped
it over the small shoulders of his son. They walked up to the
water's edge as the man spoke: "You see that wide expanse
of water? It is made of billions of gallons, and each gallon
is made of tens of thousands of drops."
The little boy seemed curious.
"And what are the drops made of?" he asked.
With a smile, the man replied:
"The drops are made of smaller and smaller drops, and each
in turn is made of bits and pieces of things that make the very
world we live in."
"What am I made of, Dad?"
the boy asked after a short while. "Am I made of the same
stuff as the ocean?"
The father smiled as he replied:
"Everything is made of everything else, and everything is
a part of other things. As you stand here this morning, you are
a part of this land, this shore, this ocean. Look at that tree,
the sky. They are parts of the very me and the eternal I. There
is a force that keeps us together. Some call that force God,
others, Allah, Jehovah, or Jove. There are a thousand names for
this force, but it doesn't matter what it's called. It just is.
As you grow older and wiser, you will find the stirring of this
mighty force within you. You will know that it's always there,
and that you're safe and happy within it."
The boy, with a puzzled expression,
looked at his father and asked: "How can this force, this
God, be within me and at the same time be in everything else
"Because," the man
replied, "God is everything and everyone. God is in you
and in me, in those gulls you see over there, in the sand under
our feet and the lilies of the field. God is everywhere and everything,
and there cannot be two of everything. God is a part of you just
like the drop of water is a part of this ocean. Remember this
well and you will grow up to have a sense of peace, joy and understanding."
Decades have passed since I
stood on that shore with my father. I have since traveled to
many countries, lived in various cultures, and experienced deep
sorrow and great joy. I have seen the best and the worst of my
fellow human beings, Yet, through it all, I could hear the voice
of my father telling me:
"God is everywhere and everything, and there cannot be two
As a young boy, I grew up in
a small village of Hindus, Christians and Moslems. I learned
at a very early age that all people are shipmates on the common
voyage of life and that one cannot sink one's shipmates without
sinking oneself. As I studied the Vedic writings and compared
them with the words of the Hebrew prophets and the teachings
of the New Testament Apostles, I found that the common thread
that ran through everything was love. The greatest commandment
ever given was "Love your God and love one another"
- all others are simply variations on that theme.