Guideposts Classics: Arthur Godfrey on God's Mysterious Gifts

In this story from March 1950, beloved entertainer Arthur Godfrey recalls a time when his life was changed by a divinely inspired dream.

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- Posted on Aug 28, 2017

Entertainer Arthur Godfrey

Somewhere in this universe is a timeless, undeniable force. It’s stronger than granite, steel, majestic mountains towering into the sky—or nuclear fission.

Sooner or later—in strange and different manifestations—that force touches every human. Sure, some pass it off as a phenomenon that somehow cannot be reduced to exact scientific formula. To others it is the hand of the Almighty—a reminder that regardless of the grandeur of man and his accomplishments—God is still “running the show” here on earth.

Now, I want to tell you of such an experience. I have remembered it across the years and it will ring in my memory for as long as I live.

It’s about my dad—God bless him!

Let me explain a little about my dad. He was one of the most brilliant and warm persons I have ever known. A lecturer, newspaper man, magazine writer and raconteur—he was at home in any society. He was the well-rounded man I always wanted to be.

Of course, he had his failings, too. One was a disinclination towards business and finance. As a result, he went through several small fortunes and sometimes things were tough at home. That’s why I went on my own at 15. But I never blamed Dad.

All this is prelude to the point I want to make. But, if in telling it—one human, faltering on the precipice of lost faith or shaken belief—takes heart—my telling the story will have been worthwhile.

For out of it, I learned first-hand about that timeless force in this world. Now, whenever the adulation of the crowd dins in my ears… whenever temporary wealth and fame assault my senses and balance—it helps me remember that force—transcendent above the world itself.

It makes me remember how the hand of God is at work constantly and I am humble in His presence.

It was in 1923. I was stationed on board a Navy destroyer—in charge of radio communications. I had knocked around a lot since I left home. The years and life had not been too kind but the Navy had been a sanctuary, the only security I had known for a long time. One day, tired, I fell asleep in my bunk and I dreamed.

My dad—I had not seen him for years—suddenly walked into the room. He offered his hand, saying, “So long, Son.” I answered, “So long, Dad.” I said some kind of prayer. It wasn’t eloquent but it came from the heart.

I never saw him again. When I woke up, my buddies told me that at the exact time while I was asleep, the wires from shore hummed the news of my dad’s death.

Don’t tell me about science and its exact explanation of everything. Some things are bigger. God is the difference. He gets around.

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