New Church Life NCL May/June 2018 - Page 41

  kind. He especially helped to improve the planning, and levels of organized administration in this church. Many visitors to the New Church of Phoenix stayed at the delightful Fiedler guest house that he somehow found time to construct. Perhaps most valuable for New Church groups has been his conviction that when we co-operate, even in hard times, we find good answers and can do more than we imagined. A familiar theme at the end of someone’s life is that now he can relax and enjoy the reward he’s earned – or perhaps that he may rest in peace. If this is what Fred gets, great will be his disappointment! Having awakened on the third day after his material body died, Fred enjoys life in a healthy spiritual body that corresponds to his vigorous mind and spirit. He continues as the same Fred we know, and I can easily imagine him chopping wood, as at that old cabin in California. If not already, soon he’ll look for useful activity (a cause to serve?). Fred will enjoy meeting many loved ones who left their earthly bodies earlier. And he’ll want to explore how moving through the spiritual world differs from flying through natural space. He will miss many people here, especially Dale, and of course Barbara above all, until she joins him. He’ll be excited by all there is to learn, and will grow ready to face deeper spiritual states to arise in his consciousness. While we love to remember much good in his life, every person’s lasting future state, based on the inner being we become through how we live, is known only to God. Swedenborg’s Writings mention that good men who live at sea are more devout in their prayers than landsmen, “because they trust more to the Divine providence.” (Charity 170) I wonder if something similar might be said of air pilots, who like seamen experience weather, wind and spatial vastness in dramatic ways, with much opportunity to reflect on expanses of creation, and their meaning, and our place in the universe. Sailing on the open sea, or flying high, long, fast and often – do these offer a heightened sense of closeness to the Almighty, and to the Divine providing for His creation? At the time of death the reality of Divine providence may be even a stronger rock for faith than the clear and detailed teachings about life after death. About Divine providence let us remember what Jesus said: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your Perhaps most valuable for New Church groups has been his conviction that when we co- operate, even in hard times, we find good answers and can do more than we imagined. 217