In December 1980, I was involved in an automobile accident that resulted in my being hospitalized for over a year, now relying on crutches to ambulate.
After I returned home, I found a brown paper bag with objects that were retrieved from my car following that accident. On a hand held tape recorder I heard my voice with these words, words that reflect what I believe.
Oh thou, oh Lord, behold thy wondrous works.
A speck in the infinite universe, a grateful and reverent servant of your immutable laws, I try to comprehend your magnificence.
I am one finite part of your infinite being.
I recognize and claim no right within the finality of my existence. And, I regard whatever I experience to be a gift.
I try to comprehend the dilemma of your divine plan.
In claiming nothing, I experience everything.
In owning nothing, I own everything.
From birth to death, from happiness to tears, from pleasure to pain, from peace to
anxiety, from solitude to company, I expect nothing and you have given me everything.
I praise you, oh Lord, for my being. Time without end.
Humbly, I approach your infinite greatness.
Humbly I ask forgiveness for the limitations of my knowledge, the limitations of my
With great fear, I approach your infinite mercy, knowing your majesty extends
beyond all my sensations, and your wrath and your love can build and destroy my whole
A channel for your love, a speaker for truth, a worker for justice, may I serve you by being true to myself.
I am protected within your infinity. I am grateful for whatever part, however small….
There the recordind ends. As I waS driving south, another driver was driving north and, according to the accident report filed with the State Police, the other car skidded on the icy pavement into the guard rail and bounced off the guard rail to hit my car head on coming to rest on the southbound side of the two lane road.
My body was crushed inside the car and I was unconscious, but miracles came to pass. A tow truck operator was traveling south barely a minute behind me and came upon the accident scene. This was before widespread EMT laws, and he has medicinal oxygen in his truck and knew enough how to thread the thin tube down my throat into my lungs and kept my brain alive.
Four months in a coma, over a year in the hospital, I returned home to find the hand held tape recorder among some of the objects that had been retrieved from my car over a year before.
The words on that tape have been and are my credo.
I claim no right before God to anything, and have come to bless whatever I experience as a gift. Clearly, we can feel that some gifts are better than others. But being alive at all is a gift and it is up to us to make the most of it. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.