Those who seek shall find. There are millions who are searching, some desperately, to find meaning in this life, to learn why we are here and where we are going. I was one of those desperate seekers.
When my wife of forty-eight years passed on, I suddenly began to search. What happened to her? Is there a soul or something that lives on? I had given up on standard churches when I was 25. My wife and I had gone happily on, not giving much thought to life and death. Then came the shocking experience - the departure of my loved one into the unknown.
The unknown! It was terribly hard to take. I could not accept death as the end. My science studies had taught me that nothing is destroyed. A lifeless atom endures forever. It may change form but it never ceases to exist. Even a light ray is forever. If a lifeless atom is forever, why must a beautiful personality - a fantastic, living, loving, incredible intelligence - perish? I couldn't accept that. It didn't seem right. Surely this personality was a million times more important in the scheme of things than a lifeless atom or a stray light ray!
My search for truth began. I re-read the Gospels. I examined Gibran, Gurdjieff, the philosophers ancient and modern. I took a flying trip to France to study with the renowned Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The more I studied, the less sure I was. It was amazing to me how little real information was available about life after death and the survival of the soul.
For five years I lived in torment, hating life and even railing against God. I finally considered suicide as a means of learning the truth about death. At this juncture - it was 1977 - I received a note from Clyde Bedell. He'd enclosed a sheet of paper describing The Urantia Book. He said, "Thought you might like to know what I've been working on lately." (Clyde was referring to his recendy published Concordex.) I immediately wrote a check for both books and sent it to Clyde. I thought, "Who knows? Maybe I should look into this. I've known Clyde for years. If he's involved it can't be all bad."
Clyde promptly sent my check back. He wrote, "I don't want you to pay for these books unless you really want them. Read first, then decide."
One Saturday morning, with a full weekend of work to do, I started reading the book. Sunday evening I put it down. I had not slept a wink or paused to eat. I hadn't done a stitch of work either. That evening I wrote a note: "Dear Clyde, you successfully ruined my weekend."
It's needless for me to tell Urantia Book readers what a thrill it is to open this incredible volume and start reading. All doubts fade away. All questions get answered. And faith is renewed with a bang!
What prompted Clyde to send me The Urantia Book? Even though I had known him as a businessman for many years, we were not particularly close. I had long since lost track of him. He had no idea of my personal loss and desperate search for truth. What persuaded him to suddenly break the silence and send me that first note?
Clyde says that I made the first step. There had been a devastating fire in Santa Barbara and three hundred houses had been destroyed. Among the names of affected homeowners listed in the local newspaper, my eye caught the name of Clyde Bedell. I knew he had been living in Santa Barbara but had no idea that he'd sold his place and moved away. The article had mistakenly listed him as an owner.
Acting on this information, I tried to reach Clyde to offer him my house, to tide him and Florence over in this emergency - a simple, neighborly thing to do. Clyde says that that gesture moved him. We both agree our divine Thought Adjusters got together and decided the time had come for my search to be over. I am forever grateful to Clyde Bedell for his thoughtfulness and, above all, I am eternally grateful to our Father for this fantastic revelation and for the hope and joy it has brought me. I have one mission now - to be ever aware of my Thought Adjuster's leadings and to zero in on others who search.