The Urantia Book found me in April of 1980, in Southwest Oregon. Unlike many other readers, I had not been a spiritual seeker. In fact, I had never even looked at a book about spirituality. If anything, I was a seeker of pleasure and ease, self-centered and self-willed, and moving in a downward spiral in many ways. It seemed to me at age 27 that I was a cosmic orphan, just trying to muddle through life with no particular connection to God and no thought that there might be any spiritual source of help or guidance.
For about ten years, whenever I visited the home of my friend Chris, I saw a copy of The Urantia Book on the coffee table. The book was bound in deerskin with a homemade, Indian-style beadwork design on the cover. For some reason, it never occurred to me to look through the book, and Chris never mentioned a word about it - or God or Jesus- in all that time. But I had always admired Chris. He often taught me things by his observations or by asking me questions. Looking back, I believe it was his worshipful approach to problem-solving that most attracted my attention, but at the time I only vaguely sensed that he might possess some wisdom that I didn't.
Finally, one day and apparently out of the blue, I asked Chris if I could borrow the spare copy of The Urantia Book on his bookshelf. I was at a low point in my life emotionally, but I don't really know why I asked to see it then. He still had never said a word about it! Several weeks later, while the two of us were hiking in the woods, he asked me, "Michael, have you been reading The Urantia Book?" I jokingly replied that I believed my Thought Adjuster had been very busy lately.
On May 18, 1980, it suddenly dawned on me what I'd been reading. It was the exquisite beauty of the language as much as the content that appealed to me at the time. Later that day, the nearby Mt. St. Helens volcano erupted. The birth of religion in my soul had been a turbulent one, and I quickly assigned my spiritual rebirth as the probable cause of the volcano! Later I came to my senses. Anyway it was a good metaphor for the cataclysmic upheaval taking place in my life. It took me about seven months to read the book cover to cover.
Finding The Urantia Book has put me at the end of many of my old problems, but at the beginning of many new and challenging ones. It has caused me to spend the past twenty years striving to reorder my thinking, reassess my values, and re-establish my priorities, in the hope that I can be a benefit to others the way my friend Chris was to me.