It was an average, ordinary day in Provo, Utah. I had been at our local golf club banging out a few drives on the range. A bit of a nasty weather pattern was starting to emerge so I decided to go back home. As I began to leave the club in my 2003 Lexus SUV (proud to say that baby has 212,000 miles on it), I pulled my car up to the usual stoplightand began to wait for the light to turn green. This is one of those extra long lights because you are transitioning from a small side street onto a major highway. You know, one of those where you have to wait at least a minute or two for the light to change.
Finally, after endless seconds, the light turned Green. As I started onto the main highway from my side street, for some reason I hesitated. Glancing to my left out onto University Avenue, I saw a car speeding recklessly toward the Red stop light doing something like 80 miles an hour or more. When he actually passed through the red light, it had to have been at least five seconds after the light had gone Red. Had I advanced into the street in my normal way, there is no doubt I would have been in for a horrific collision.
I remember thinking “Oh my Gosh- that was unbelievable – What was that guy doing?” Finally, I pulled into the intersection, and turned north onto University Avenue. I had half a notion to follow the car that had so callously sped through the light. I thought to myself “that guy must have been on speed.” In any event, I recall breathing an enormous sigh of relief as I proceeded to reach my normal speed on my drive home.
And, the truth is, after a couple of days, I had completely forgotten about the incident.
Until . . . a couple of days later when I ran into a friend of mine, Dee Oldroyd. He came up to me and said:
“David – Boy, are you lucky! I was right behind you at that intersection a couple of days ago.”
I was frankly confused for a second – “What intersection I asked?
“The one going out onto University Avenue from the Club.”
He then added
“What made you hesitate at the light? Why didn’t you just pull out normally?
Seriously, you are really fortunate that you did not pull out – that guy would have killed you.”
What did cause me to wait more than normal? Was it just chance? Was I daydreaming at the wheel? Or was there a higher power involved? Do I have a guardian angel that was looking out for me?
Frankly I do not know but it got me to thinking about guardian angels. My Father died 30 years ago this year. I have sensed his presence from time to time over the last three decades but to be sure, it has been sporadic. But what if he is there for me 24 hours a day/7days a week without my even knowing it? Did he cause me to wait at that intersection for the very purpose of helping to preserve my life?
How many times in our everyday lives are we saved from hurt or harm- or disasters, emotionally or otherwise, by an unseen force? I believe that each us recognize a few instances where we sense some sort of divine intervention but it well could be that these occurrences are much more frequent than we ever imagined . . .we just don’t know it.
Pope Francis in a 2014 address speaking of angels said: “it’s reality.” He went on to say, “According to church tradition, we all have an angel with us, who protects us and helps us understand things.” He encouraged all Catholics to “reaffirm their belief in holy guardians.” Stressing they were not imaginary, he said it was only pride stopping people hearing their voices.
One of the Presidents of my own religion, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, once said:
“When messengers are sent to minister to the inhabitants of this earth, they are not strangers, but from the ranks of our kindred, friends, and fellow-beings.” President Joseph F. Smith
Another LDS Church leader addressed the question of whether or not each individual has a “guardian angel” when he wrote:
“Undoubtedly angels often guard us from accidents and harm, from temptation and sin. They may properly be spoken of as guardian angels.” Elder John A. Widtsoe
I realize that not everyone reading this believes in guardian angels or even a God. In my life, I choose to do so and it is my contention that any form of loving God will deploy his best resources to assist us. This earth life is difficult and terrifying enough and our Heavenly Father would not want to leave us alone. There are days and times when we need a helping hand. It is up to us as to whether or not we choose to believe.