Roy Masters from ‘Parallel Universe’
There exists a kind of man who insists on trying to prove to himself that he can fly. Reason tells him he cannot, but he goes ahead anyway, defies nature by jumping off a cliff, and breaks his back.
This time he may be lucky because the doctor is able to restore him to working order. But does he learn from his experience? No. He tries again and again, wasting his substance on one daredevil stunt after another to the exclusion of everything good that might have entered his
life, until death catches up with him.
The newspapers titillate us daily with stories of fathers and sons flying their airplanes in stormy weather, and amateur fishermen wandering out on stormy seas. Stubborn willfulness makes the likes of these go on picnics in the rain and get struck by lightning. Nothing is going to get in the way of what they want to do—not if they have anything to say about it!
People like this who don’t use their innate common sense are of little use to us, except as examples of how not to be. They were born to be statistics. Their fate is predictable.
Take any four day weekend, and the people who make a study of such things can determine in advance, within a narrow margin of error,
how many such folk will die in some mishap, how many will be raped, murdered, or killed in an automobile accident.
“Luck” can be dangerous to your health and to your soul. Think twice before you take pride in your narrow escapes and fancy that you possess some special power, some “divine” infallibility, that will protect you against all the odds.
All prideful egotists like to believe they enjoy the special favor of some guardian angel; but when you live under the laws of chance, no one is watching over you. The odds are king, and they are not in your favor.
Survival is a matter of chance and percentages—some fools make it for a time, and others don’t. The soul that survives some madcap adventure and thanks God with all his heart for his undeserved good fortune instead of preening himself on his invulnerability is a soul destined to be awakened and to survive the fools who go down trying to prove they are special.
When such a soul survives a catastrophe of some kind he experiences an infilling of humility, not pride. He feels a heightened responsibility to find some meaning for this life that has been so miraculously saved for him.
Henceforth, his destiny will depend on something more meaningful than a throw of the dice. In other words, the blessed learn from experience. They avoid temptation instead of seeking it out, and they survive.
Time and chance will see to it that all the foolish ones get their comeuppance for not learning from experience, for being stupid and stubborn. Their suffering amounts to a part payment for the vain way they have lived their lives.
“‘Luck’ can be dangerous to your health and to your soul”
While it is true that we inherit sin from our forefathers, it is also true that many of us keep adding to this inheritance, sin by sin, and we suffer and die because we deserve no better fate.
When I seem to take chances, I am not really taking chances, because I am sure of my willingness to deal with the outcome. I may not know exactly what it will be, but I am sure of the rightness of the way I am going because it is shown to me each moment through faith.
I cannot be frustrated because I have no goals or ambitions; I have learned that my life is not my own to do with as I will.
During the latter part of World War II—I was only seventeen at the time—I was walking home from work one day and a diamond in a jewelry store window happened to catch my eye. I stopped for a moment to look and then I walked on.
Before I had gone far I heard a violent explosion. A dog had walked across the barbed wire defense system onto a land mine. Had I not stopped, I would have come close enough to the explosion to be killed.
Why did I stop to look at that nothing little diamond in the store window, when it was my vocation at that time to do nothing but cut diamonds all day long, eight hours a day? Something was watching over me, pacing me.
In retrospect, I see that had the dog stepped on the land mine two minutes later, I should have been killed because I had stopped to look in the window. Thank God for the mysterious guidance system beyond the conscious mind.
To this Greater Mind, my own consciousness was passive and unambitious enough to be easily directed away from danger.
Many trolls lurk under many bridges on the highway to hell, waiting breathlessly for ambitious surface creatures to misstep and tumble off, but the way to heaven’s gate is accessible only to those who seek His way.
Others miss good opportunities. Ambitions, goals, judgments coarsen their spiritual senses. With their dulled minds, they see and do not
perceive; they hear, but they do not understand.
When you are tempted by the lure of some selfish advantage to stray from the right way, you soon find yourself at a dead end.
If you had not been goal-oriented, impatient, hungry for excitement, you would have made all the right turns and detours as a matter of
course, and the way would still be open and clearly marked for you.