"The Gnat"
(Author Unknown--as seen in Mountain Wings)

1-12-2006 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #373

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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Patije

Story of the Week
The Gnat
(Author Unknown--as seen in Mountain Wings)

A few years ago, I worked for a company that sent me out on the road to some of their remote sites to do maintenance work. These sites were, for the most part, open fields approximately 100 to 160 acres in size.

On these sites were huge piles of metallic ores such as manganese, beryllium, chromium, ferrochrome and many others. Occasionally, these fields would have to be mowed and the buildings would need repairs, so I would go out and do the repairs, and if the weeds and grass hadn't gotten too much out of control, I would use a tractor with a brush hog type mower and cut it back down.

Sometimes, though, I'd have to call contractors to come into the fields to mow the waist-high grass and weeds with their heavier equipment.

This one particular site was in an isolated area of central Pennsylvania that was prone to heavy rainstorms with an extraordinary amount of lightning, possibly attracted to the area by all the ore piles. It was surrounded by a 10-foot-high cyclone fence for security, with gates to allow access to a road that went through the center of the property.

That day was another very hot, mid-August day, and I could see Kevin (the contractor) on the far side of the road, traveling back and forth across the field, baking in the hot sun.

Around 1:30 P.M., I noticed some very heavy rain clouds coming over the nearby hills and knew that another storm was coming. I waited awhile to make sure that we actually were going to get rained out before calling Kevin in from the open area, hoping to let him get as much mowing done as possible.

When the sky started to darken and the wind picked up, I hopped into my pick-up truck and went out to the field to call him back to the building.

As I stood by the edge of the field waving to Kevin, signaling him to get back to the shop building, the first few heavy raindrops began falling. Then, as the first burst of lightning lit up the sky and the first crash of thunder shook the air, Kevin sailed passed me on his tractor like an eighteen wheeler on Interstate 80.

After locking the gate on that side of the road, I got back into my pick-up and pulled inside the second gate. The latch was broken on this gate, and I had to wrap a short length of chain around the gatepost, then through the edge of the gate.

By then, the lightning was closer, and the rain was just starting to get a little heavier. I shoved the thick chain around the post and threaded it through the diamond-shaped openings in the fence on the gate, then held both ends in one hand.

With my other hand, I took the open lock off the fence where it had been hanging. Just when I was about to put the lock on the chain, a gnat flew into my open right eye.

That stung! It stung so much that I instantly dropped the lock and chain and put my hands to my eye, taking one step back at the same time. Not a second later, lightning struck that fence somewhere close by, and I saw the whole fence in front of me light up and glow bright blue.

That beautiful but lethal shade of light blue from high-voltage radiation nearly filled in all those little diamond-shaped openings in the fence. I stood there awe struck, as I realized what had just happened.

I was standing, wet, in rain, holding onto a chain that was threaded through a metal fence that was just about to be struck by lightning, when an insignificant insect, an annoying pest, a bug, flew into my eye and saved my life. I was completely unharmed, not even a tingle.

Now, I've always believed that we each have a guardian angel, but I don't know for sure how they do their work. At night when I lie down to go to sleep, I thank those guardian angels for the work that they do. Who knows how many times they saved my life and I don't even know about it.

Pastor's Quote of the Week
        The seraphim act in your behalf quite independent of your direct appeals; they are executing the mandates of their superiors, and thus they function regardless of your passing whims or changing moods. This does not imply that you may not make their tasks either easier or more difficult, but rather that angels are not directly concerned with your appeals or with your prayers.
        In the life of the flesh the intelligence of angels is not directly available to mortal men. They are not overlords or directors; they are simply guardians. The seraphim guard you; they do not seek directly to influence you; you must chart your own course, but these angels then act to make the best possible use of the course you have chosen. They do not (ordinarily) arbitrarily intervene in the routine affairs of human life. But when they receive instructions from their superiors to perform some unusual exploit, you may rest assured that these guardians will find some means of carrying out these mandates. They do not, therefore, intrude into the picture of human drama except in emergencies and then usually on the direct orders of their superiors.

(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-113 Section-5)

The Prayer
Dear God,        
        Help me not only to recognize the work of Your Angels, but to cooperate with it, and to participate in it.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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