I was on vacation out West, traveling and camping with two girlfriends from Michigan. One day we picked up three hitchhikers who, it turned out, belonged to a group of hippies who called themselves The Traveling Light Circus. Their "guru" was a cocky gay guy named Jamail McKinney who had read The Urantia Book seven times and was now claiming to have fused with his Thought Adjuster. I must admit that it wasn't the message of God's love they shared as much as the fact that there were so many men in the group, which first interested Karen, Peggy and me.
At that time, in 1974, I considered myself to be agnostic, having tossed out belief in God when I rejected the fundamental Christianity of my upbringing. But I'd been jolted into a philosophical search for life's meaning when my parents both died a couple of years earlier. This group was the "highest" bunch of people I'd ever met. I decided to travel with them later, and made plans to join them after finishing our vacation. When I got back home, I purchased The Urantia Book, since Jamail had made it required reading for everyone who wished to travel with his group.
Months later, I'd been hitchhiking with The Traveling Light Circus and had read about a quarter of the Urantia Papers but still didn't believe in God. I was being stubborn. I didn't want to believe in a God just because it made everything seem nicer. I wanted to know the truth about God. If there was a God, I wanted to know it; but if there wasn't, I wanted to know that, too. I didn't want to be swayed by the obvious psychological benefits that my fellow travelers seemed to be experiencing due to their faith. I wanted to know what was real, but was in a quandary as to how to go about it.
One night our large group of hitchhikers rendezvoused at the house of a man named Joe Zabriel who also read The Urantia Book. I was reading quietly to myself in a corner when I overheard Zabriel talking to someone from our group about Jesus' twofold purpose in coming to this planet. Suddenly, like a long line of dominos falling down with one small push, everything fell together. Things Zabriel was saying started fitting in with what I'd heard from my Christian schooling. Thoughts I'd had, subjects I'd studied, experiences in my life, plus ideas I'd recently read in The Urantia Book, all fell into place in my mind.
All at once it was like I was standing at a major fork in the road. I looked up the "high road" and down the "low road," seeing with a clarity I'd never had before. One road was the choice of God, and it included an eternal life where beauty always outshines ugliness, where truth never fails to conquer error, where goodness always wins against evil, and where there is endless love and joy in the eternal adventure of serving with my brothers and sisters in God's divine family. The other road was one of selfishness, darkness, loneliness and eventual death; there was no God; all one could do was try to find happiness in material possessions, snatching everything for oneself, because we were all pitted against each other in the struggle for a life which was altogether too short.
A moment earlier I could not have made the choice. But now, as I stood at this fork in the road of my life, the decision was easy. I realized God's existence could never be proven or disproven, that faith was a choice - and the time had come for me to decide.
I stated to myself and to God, "I choose faith in God!" And immediately I experienced a thought that was so distinct and clear that it seemed like another's voice spoken aloud, although inside my head. This thought-voice said, "Of course you know there's a God! And you knew it all the time, didn't you?" In a rush my mind was flooded with memories of relating to God as a child. All of a sudden I realized that, yes, indeed, it seemed I had known all along that there was a God! It was as if those years of agnosticism had been merely a mental exercise, but deeper down I'd always known God!
From that day on, when my faith sometimes falters, I look back and remember that fork in the road. I've made my choice. This is the road I choose to walk, the one of faith and love as a child in God's universal family. Thank you, Father!