LAX. ATL. DFW. SFO. It seems every airport is undergoing some sort of construction or expansion these days.
While it's nice to see a commitment to improving the transportation infrastructure, these refurbishments point to airports, airways, and air traffic control systems that are increasingly overtaxed. The issue is of interest to anyone who travels by air.
I think I've come up with a way to help. While I haven't been tackling the problems in the way the FAA has, I really feel I've been contributing to the solution by praying.
This has first been an effort to understand that God is communicating to everyone. The more I understand this, the more I can help. God is the divine intelligence. God is the Mind that impels us to act orderly, peacefully, and safely. The divine Mind provides all of us with actual spiritual intuitions that are appropriate to any situation. Through prayer, we can stay awake to the ideas we need from God.
I like to think of prayer as a spiritual radar that helps anyone and everyone. Furthermore, it is something everyone already has. It is available before, during, and after a flight. The thoughts we think can contribute to the short-term and long-term efforts of air traffic controllers, pilots, airport planners, and everyone else involved with transportation.
Prayer is what keeps thinking clear. And clear thinking is what leads to good decisionmaking and effective planning. Our prayers actually help improve the whole atmosphere - the atmosphere of thinking, that is. I find that prayer removes fear and other negative distractions for me. Fear of dangers, delays, and other travel problems may seem normal and warranted. But what's far more warranted is trusting that God is constantly directing us.
We keep out fear, anxiety, and confusion, and hear what we need to hear, by remembering that God certainly cares for everything He has created. Recently, there have been several much-publicized incidents in which airplanes almost had accidents on runways or in the air. I don't think it's luck that prevented those accidents - and it's not luck that's going to prevent future ones. To attribute safety to mere good luck is to lose sight of how God is always giving guidance, and of how His children benefit from it.
Quoting a popular psalm from the Bible, the founder of this newspaper once wrote, "Step by step will those who trust Him find that 'God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble' " (from Mary Baker Eddy's "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 444.)
In a recent near-collision of two jets at O'Hare, an air-traffic controller was said to have yelled last-second commands to one of the planes. Such instances - where an individual's quick action prevented disaster - might just suggest that someone's spiritual radar was working.
Obviously there's a need for safer air travel. More of the clear thinking that prayer brings will help with that. When I'm traveling, I pray for my own peace and certainty. Particularly when the weather is bad, or when planes are all stacked up, the mood in the cabin can get pretty heavy. But if one person truly feels the certainty of God's care - even there - then everyone benefits. So I contemplate the good purpose of the flight. I remember the fact that God supports any good activity, and that He keeps His creation safe. God's care is something we all deserve to see, and no glitch in a flight can hide it.
This, I think, is more than faith. It's an understanding that God is at work in human lives.
The Lord is thy keeper:
the Lord is thy shade upon
thy right hand. The sun shall
not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord shall preserve thee
from all evil: he
shall preserve thy soul. The
Lord shall preserve thy going
out and thy coming in from
this time forth, and even
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