consists of being more aware of what you have, than what you
As I was driving out through the
gates of the ranch today, I observed police cars and fire engines with
their lights flashing speeding down Highway 62, also known as the 29
Palms Highway. It is the only roadway between the High Desert
where I live and Palm Springs which is where Desert Cities Religious
Science is located. My first thought was that there must be a fire
somewhere in the area. On Sunday morning there is not a lot of
traffic on the highway and so I was not surprised that there was not any
traffic. But, as I drove down the mountain I realized that there
was an auto accident. And as I drove closer I could tell it was a
major car and truck accident. Since I was coming up right behind
the first emergency vehicles on the scene of the accident, I was
witnessing the immediate effects of the accident. The vehicles
involved were an SUV and a large transport truck. Both the SUV and
the transport truck were on fire. The dark smoke almost completely
obscured the SUV. As I sat and watched the firemen take charge of
the accident scene and the California Highway Patrol set up roadblocks,
I could feel the heat of the fire even inside my car.
Once the traffic behind me had stopped, I
immediately began to pray for the souls of all those involved in the
accident. I went deep within knowing that the Presence was with
them. I knew that if there was anyone still in the SUV, their
souls had already ascended. My prayers continued for about 20
minutes, and then I felt a release within myself, and I knew that my
prayers were finished. It took less than thirty minutes for the
firemen to extinguish the fire. The SUV was burned to the shell
and three-quarters of the transport truck was gone. It was an
eerie sight. The burned contents of the truck, which belonged to the
grocery chain, Ralphs, was scattered across the four-lane highway.
Almost two and a half hours later the highway was cleared and we were
able to pass through. Stopping at a convenience store a few miles
away for water, I was told that all the passengers in the SUV were
killed, but that the truck driver was able to escape.
As I drove through the mountains on the way to
Palm Springs, I thought about how quickly it had all happened. And
once again I reminded myself that these souls had made their transition
and their spirits had gone to the Other Side, untouched by all of this.
And as I drove I prayed for all those who loved them, knowing that it
would only be a matter of hours, if not minutes, before they received
the news of their loved one's transition.
And then I thought of Thanksgiving Day, which
will be celebrated in the United States on November 22nd. I
thought about how this day originated as an act of gratitude.
Thanksgiving Day is a day of reflection of all that we have to be
grateful for. And I realized that the thing we have the most to be
thankful for is Life Itself. Life is the thing that we have the
least conscious control over ... this life and the life here-after, are
still the great mystery to us. We have our beliefs about both, but
we have no certainty about either. This mystery, still belongs to
God, Infinite Spirit. We get to choose what we do while we are
here, but our coming into this life may or may not have been our choice.
And when we leave this life for the Great Beyond, that too, may or may
not be our choice. Very few of us have evolved to the level where
we are so in tune with our soul that we are conscious of these things.
I believe gratitude for Life creates a fuller
and richer experience of it. This life is a gift ... a gift that
we cannot give ourselves ... it is the precious expression of a Life
beyond our imagination. The world will tell us that we can prolong
life, but how do we prolong that which we have no control over? A
healthy lifestyle is no guarantee of a longer life. Dr. O. C.
Smith, who was one of the healthiest men I have known, made his
transition the day after Thanksgiving in 2001. His transition was
a tremendous shock to all who knew him. Mentally, physically, and
spiritually, his was a life that was fully lived and lived well.
Why he left us when he did is still a great mystery to those who loved
him. But, in faith we know that it was his time ... and as much as
we loved him, we could not change the time of his transition. He
was not here to live for us, but to live for the Spirit that lives in
all of us, and so it is for those beautiful souls who made their
transition today on Highway 62.
From Emerson: "The
purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable,
to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived
and lived well."
A deep, heart-felt gratitude for Life ...
creates a life lived well. Dr. O. C. Smith knew this ... for him,
and for me and for you.
SO IT IS!
Dr. Henry Lee Bates
Visit Rev. Bates BLOG: Living
the Science of Mind