WHENEVER a holiday weekend approaches, the news media offers warnings about the increase of accidents since there will be so many more cars on the road. Concern with safety becomes paramount. Having driven in both commuter and holiday traffic in a large and busy metropolitan area, I am familiar with both the crush of traffic and the concern about safety. One thing that has always helped me is to turn to God in prayer. This simple step not only makes the trip at hand more peaceful, it also reminds me of God's love for me and for all humanity.
God's love was certainly brought out very clearly in the ministry of Christ Jesus. He was always certain of God's presence and care, and he relied on it every day. He knew that God is Love and that Love naturally cares about all its children. In speaking to his followers one day, he spoke of their value to God saying, as Matthew records, ``The very hairs of your head are all numbered.''
This statement of Jesus' -- as well as many others in the Bible -- shows why it is perfectly natural to pray to God for help and protection in each aspect of our lives. Even a trip to the grocery store is important when the hairs of our heads are numbered! And since God is infinite Love, there is no limit to the number of times we can turn to Love for help. God's goodness and strength are always with us.
This relationship to God isn't one-sided, however. As God's spiritual offspring, it is natural for us to express His qualities -- such as love, intelligence, foresight. This means we can express Love wherever we are -- even to other drivers! Also, since the Bible implies in different ways that God is infinite Mind, we can affirm in prayer that this one divine Mind is governing His creation. In spiritual terms this means that divine intelligence must prevail wherever we are. Instead of believing that there are many separate human minds, each doing its own thing and possibly making a mistake, we can pray to see that this one Mind, with its infinite perspective, is governing and controlling every element of its creation.
Such prayer may seem idealistic at first. But its effects -- in the form of greater harmony in our travels, whether by car or another vehicle -- become more apparent as we persist in looking for Love's guidance and obeying it. Sometimes the effect is quite dramatic, as I found out not too long ago. On the way to work, I had heard a radio report about a severe accident on another road and, as a Christian, I had felt impelled to pray briefly to know that all was in God's care. I prayed specifically about God's government, which includes only harmony for all. I knew this divine law would help anyone who was in need. As I drove along, I thought quite seriously about the intelligence of Mind and how this could not be limited in any way. Because God is ever-present, intelligence had to be present everywhere.
A few miles later, in a section of the interstate that is normally very congested, I saw brake lights flashing up ahead. I realized that cars were actually stopping, not just slowing down, and I was able to stop also. As I did so, I heard a sound of brakes and tires screeching up ahead. A passenger in my car, who had a better view, saw a car ahead of us spin into the lane next to us. It ended up coming down the road against traffic.
My first thought -- even as I turned again to God in prayer -- was for drivers in that lane who would be meeting this car head on. But much to my wonder, all the cars in each lane had stopped. There was plenty of room for the oncoming car to get off the road safely. Everyone had acted with great intelligence. No one had had an accident, and we were all able to continue on our way with very little delay.
But more than this, there was an atmosphere of peace over the whole experience that was so strong it stayed with me the rest of the day. It was as though I was actually witnessing the proof of my prayers -- actually seeing evidence of the spiritual fact that there can be no accidents under God's government. As Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``Under divine Providence there can be no accidents, since there is no room for imperfection in perfection.''
Certainly God's perfect control was evidenced in the way that all drivers stopped to allow the other driver to get his car off the road. And divine Love was expressed in the form of three cars that pulled over to see if this individual needed any help.
So when we travel, we can pray for God's love and care to guide us. And we can listen for direction from the one infinite Mind, who knows and loves each of its children -- even down to the hairs on their heads.
Healing through prayer is explored in more detail in a weekly magazine, the Christian Science Sentinel.
BIBLE VERSE: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ...Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid.
Proverbs 3:5, 6, 23, 24