It is dark and sultry this mid-October morning at six. I feel well-rested and the Toyota hums gently as I drive Ashley to her bus stop. At 18 she finishes her last year in high school. Our dialogue goes something like this:
"Ashley, did your Mom or anyone else ever proselytize you into any kind of religious beliefs?"
"Did you ever go to church and learn anything about religion?"
"Well when I was a kid my mother was a Baptist and my Father a Christian Scientist, and I grew up believing the Baptist view. Then after my teen years I studied all the world religions and concluded none of them were right. But 40 years ago I read The Urantia Book and determined that it makes sense. You should read it. It all boils down to this:
"One - God is our Heavenly Father, he loves us and we should love him
"Two - All humans are the brothers and sisters of one another, and we should love one another and serve one another unselfishly and lovingly.
"Three - We should have faith in the effectiveness of the supreme human desire to become like God- to do his will."
Ashley remains politely silent in the glow of the dashboard lights.
"Here's the most exciting thing of all," I continue as I pull up to the bus stop and switch off the Toyota's engine.
"A Spirit Fragment of the Universal Father indwells the mind of every normal minded human. He has two jobs: plan our path to our eternal destiny; and gently guide us to follow that path. No path or destiny we plan alone can beat the Father's plan for us.
"He doesn't communicate to us out loud because he is pre-personal, but when we communicate to him we super-consciously register success in the effort.
"Once you fully commit to doing his will, that Spirit Fragment of the Father will fuse with your human personality. That way we can become partners with God throughout the rest of time."
"I don't believe in that, Jugito," Ashley announces as the bus turns toward us down the street.
"That doesn't matter," I explain. "I'm just saying 'That's the way it is,' whether you believe me or not. It's just like everything else I tell you that you don't believe. You should have learned it when you were six."
"Thank you, Jugito," she says, opening the door and stepping out.
I imagine she has thanked me for the ride to school, not for the religion lesson.
"Oh, well," I think, "even the tiniest of seeds can grow into a mighty, majestic Giant Sequoia, given enough water, sunshine, and fertile soil. Ashley just needs some soak time in the water of life to let the truth germinate in her consciousness."
I ponder the dialogue as I drive the 1.3 miles back home in the gloomy glimmer of my headlights. I become aware once again of the importance of living one's religion day by day. Who we are screams so loudly that others cannot hear what we say.
Regardless of that, sincere truth seekers yearn for the truth and will embrace its morsels at every opportunity. Ashley has a way to go before she takes interest in the truths I profess.
I pull into my parking spot, switch off the Toyota, and head to my front door. Sleepiness creeps into my face. I yearn to lie down beside my precious Maria. I need a few more winks after all on this dark and sultry morning.