IF you are traveling by plane during the holidays, one way to contribute to the harmony of the trip might be to take a few minutes to pray about safety. Why? Because a prayerful affirmation of God's love and care for His children can be a powerful help. And such prayer is also a way to obey Christ Jesus' teaching to love our neighbor as ourselves, because our prayers can be a support to all travelers. One Biblical message that has been helpful to me many times is that God is omnipresent. This means He is with us no matter where we are. And when we understand this, we will see that we can never be in a place where His help is not available.
The Psalmist speaks of this fact: ``Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there.... If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.''1
How does this concept of God's omnipresence help us in a practical way? God is universal Mind -- the only Mind. Therefore His intelligence and wisdom are everywhere to guide and protect us. It's helpful to understand, too, that the man of God's creating -- our true selfhood -- is purely spiritual, the likeness of this Mind. Man cannot be careless, stupid, or confused, because he can express only Mind's qualities. He is completely governed by this one ever-present Mind. To affirm this truth in prayer, to realize that it is truth, is to see it proved in our experience.
When we pray before or during a flight, we can claim Mind's qualities of wisdom, intelligence, clarity, and so forth as our own and others' and expect to see them expressed by those around us. The true nature of everyone is Godlike. Therefore intelligence and wisdom must be present everywhere because man expresses Mind, God. There isn't any little corner of God's creation where Mind is limited or absent.
Understanding the oneness of Mind and its government helps to forestall accidents or mistakes. In absolute truth we are not mortals traveling in a material environment -- or vehicle -- subject to acts or thoughts of other mortals. We are in fact spiritual ideas of Mind. Since there is only one Mind, there aren't a lot of loose ends (or mortals) to pull together. Mind, Spirit, alone is governing. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``Accidents are unknown to God, or immortal Mind, and we must leave the mortal basis of belief and unite with the one Mind, in order to change the notion of chance to the proper sense of God's unerring direction and thus bring out harmony.''2
If we regularly pray in this way, we can become much more confident that our travel will be safe. And we may actually see evidence of actions that will forestall disaster.
For example, before taking a flight one holiday season, I noticed that everything at the airport seemed to be in much- greater-than-usual turmoil. While waiting, I prayed not just for the safety of the flight but also to claim the presence of God, with all its peace and harmony, both in the airport and for all travelers everywhere.
I really had a feeling of God as Mind governing -- not that God was a sort of big Traffic Controller in the sky but that this oneness of Mind was totally unaffected by confusion and pressure. It knew only its own unity of purpose, which had to be good. And I understood more clearly than before that the presence of Mind would be expressed on the human scene by intelligent action, wisdom, and insight.
After about fifteen minutes we were told that there would be a delay because a malfunction in the plane had been discovered and would have to be repaired. Most, if not all of us, were happy to wait!
Prayer can undergird all our activities whether they involve travel or not. But understanding that God, Mind, is with us no matter where we are enables us to take short trips or long ones with confidence.
1Psalms 139: 7-10. 2Science and Health, p. 424. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. Psalms 121:8