The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time. – Abraham Lincoln
When we suffer the shock or pain of events others are going through, or our world seems on the verge of chaos, we can’t do much to help except try to keep our own thoughts and actions positive. But we can breathe a prayer like “Lord help us!” And we can remember our own close calls and near disasters that turned out amazingly well.
As we agonize along with all who are suffering through the disastrous wars, fires, floods, and tornados, and the near-miraculous escapes and rescues reported, we are pulled back into surrealistic memories of our own catastrophic Witch Creek fire in San Diego County. This fast-moving inferno swept in from the hills east of us, whipped by hot, dry winds from the desert as it devoured bone-dry brush and ultimately destroyed more than 1500 structures.
After a tense night of keeping watch, during which the fire burned around and past our Gateway property, we thought we were safe as the smoky morning sky lightened. Then, I repeated, “Lord help us!” as the fire suddenly pivoted and in a few hours incinerated most of the brush on our 200 acres. Tense and exhausting hours of finding and quenching the burning embers blowing in from the holocaust around us followed. Two outbuildings burned, some paint was blistered, and everything was covered with ash. But other than that, ten buildings, our roads, gardens, and orchard all survived.
There are many reasons we were protected as much as we were. Sixty years of up close and practical experience with wildfires on both our properties have taught us a lot. We clear and mow the land around our buildings before each fire season. The fire department inspects our preparations and we follow their recommendations carefully. Still, in a fire-storm, anything can happen, and all of us remember ways we were helped.
The night before the fire, I did an odd thing.
We keep our tractor inside a tunnel-like metal storage shed open at both ends. We never leave it out in the open. Yet, before the fire struck, I pulled it out and left it on a dirt road above one of our shops. To this day I can’t tell you why I did such an unusual thing. But when the fire came through, it charred that shed and sparks and burning embers from the fire front swept through it like pellets through a shotgun barrel!
I don’t know how you might interpret this occurrence but to my mind it was just one example of help from our beloved Masters during this traumatic experience. I admit, it took a while for me to get past the idea that “I” had done something brilliant because our tractor was unharmed and was a lifesaver fighting the fire. But the truth is I was given a strong nudge to act.
This experience was dramatic enough that even someone as thick headed as me would get it. But how about those less dramatic responses to our prayers? The times we get an idea or a solution to a personal problem? Could this be help from an advanced being? So often in difficult situations I say: “Lord help me!” or some similar prayer. And then take credit for the response I am given. It takes a certain amount of humility and a lot of thought to recognize that the help these advanced beings provide is extended quietly, in accordance with God’s Laws, for the greatest good of all concerned, and in a way that provides an opportunity for all of us to grow spiritually.
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