A Sleigh Ride to Heaven and Back

The sun was just beginning to set on a brisk fall evening, and we were on our way home from a nice dinner at my favorite restaurant. My dad was driving and I was sitting in the back seat because I was still too young to sit in the front. As we were driving home, I was staring out the window examining the leaves falling off the trees and changing colors, and watching the heard of deer run through the wilderness. I began thinking to myself “how did god create all of these beautiful things?” I then thought about how big the earth is, and I decided then that god couldn’t have done all of this, that would be impossible. So, after my nine year old brain did a little more thinking, I asked my dad what his thoughts were. I said, “Dad, do you believe god or science created the world?” He paused for a moment, and I could tell he was very caught of guard. He then replied to me, “Well, god of course.” At first, I just accepted his answer and began thinking about other things nine year olds think about, like what I should draw in my coloring book when I get home. But then, I asked another question, “Why are you so sure it was god, dad?” He hesitated again, and sighed a little. He replied, “I don’t usually tell people this story because they think I am crazy, but I will tell you why I am so very sure god created the world.”

My father lived on the bottom of a steep hill. In the winter, he would sled down the hill and end up right in his front yard. One day when he was seven years old, a big snowstorm came that cancelled school. When he woke up and heard the news of a snow day, he went straight into his garage, picked out a sled, and began walking up to the top of the hill. As he was walking up, he noticed the road was icier than normal, but that wouldn’t stop a seven year old boy from sledding on a snow day. When he reached the top, he set up his body on the sled and took off with excitement. At first, the ride was going smoothly, then the ice started to interfere. He soon had no control over his speed or the direction he was going on. He noticed he was heading straight towards the giant tree right in the middle of his front yard. He started to get scared. He tried to get out of the way, but he was going too fast. His body smashed into the tree straight on and right down the middle. His older sister was doing the dishes watching him through the window. She immediately ran outside and called 911. My dad was unconscious and laying there in a puddle of blood and the freezing cold snow. He was rushed to the hospital and immediately put through surgery.

The doctors began surgery, and before they had time to make much progress, my dad was technically pronounced “dead”, but they continued with hope anyway.

My dad arose out of his body during the surgery and watched from above as they operated on his body. He had no idea what was going on, but for some strange reason he wasn’t worried. He was floating around the hospital room, using a slight brush of his hands to change directions. He took his body out of the operation room and went into the hallway. He saw his sister Kathy crying hysterically, his parents with worried faces on, and his current second grade teacher, Mr. Cambria, comforting his family. He was screaming to his family that he was okay, but no one could hear nor see him. He kept hearing a very faint female voice saying to him, “You don’t have to come.” My dad said that he felt so happy and content that he wanted to go through the shining light that was coming from above, but then he thought to himself, “my family would be so sad.” So, he took his floating body back to the operating room and went back into his body.

He awoke to his parents hovering over him and holding his hand. My dad was so confused when he woke up, and his parents could tell he didn’t know what happened. The first thing he said to his parents was “Why is Kathy crying?”, and “Why is Mr. Cambria here”. His parents were stunned and scared. “How did you know that?” his mother replied.

My father was unconscious when he arrived at the hospital, and in surgery when his sister and teacher got there. It wasn’t a dream, there is no possible way he would have known those things. My father died in the hospital that day, and he was given the choice to go to heaven or go back and live his life.

That is how my father knows that god created the world.