A friend and I got up at 2 a.m. and drove seven hours to the airport. When we arrived, my flight had been canceled; my friend's flight was on time. The airline booked me on another flight - a two-hour bus ride away.
Although I didn't feel as irritated or angry as some of my fellow passengers, I did start feeling that this wasn't a great day and that I might as well just try to put up with it as best I could.
But I knew that many times this approach of just trying to endure things hadn't worked for me. My mood often got worse rather than better. So I decided to pray. What I was yearning to feel at that moment was some control over my own negative thoughts and feelings.
As I listened to God, the message I received was this: Dominion and peace come from focusing on His presence and on the good He is always providing. The instruction was to turn away from the temptation to pray that things happen in a certain way, i.e., I make my connection, and instead actively look for the good at hand.
I decided to follow this direction. As I boarded the bus, I was grateful for the cleanliness and comfort. Looking out the window I smiled to myself because something clicked; it was one of those "Oh, I get it" moments. I felt genuinely happy - not because things were going my way but because I felt connected to good. And even if the good seemed outwardly small, I knew in my heart that it wasn't. It was significant and important for me to notice.
I was grateful for the beautiful sunset while waiting in the Jacksonville, Florida, airport. I was thankful that another woman decided to sleep in the gate area in the Newark airport so that I didn't feel so alone when I had to spend the night there after missing my connection. These are small things, but they made a difference. Instead of feeling separated from God's goodness and care, I felt embraced by them.
Seeing myself as always connected to God's love and care no matter what is going on also helped me shortly after I arrived home. I needed physical healing after I ate some food that was evidently too old. I had wondered whether it was smart to eat it, but went ahead anyway. I felt ill during the night and in the morning wasn't much better.
As I prayed to God for an answer, I felt tempted to mentally rehearse my mistake. I knew this wasn't getting me anywhere, so I tried to be very quiet so I could hear God's message. And then I heard an answer: God, Love, told me that I could never be separated from Him even for a moment, despite how I was feeling. And I could be more willing to focus on how God was loving and caring for me and less on the discomfort. Love was blessing me and wouldn't let anything hurt me.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, said: "It is ignorance and false belief, based on a material sense of things, which hide spiritual beauty and goodness. Understanding this, Paul said: 'Neither death, nor life ... nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God' " ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," page 304).
I realized that because I was connected to God, I was always connected to the health, joy, and freedom God gives each one of His children. Even if I hadn't made the wisest decision when I ate the food, God's love for me was bigger than any mistake I could make. God showed me that I was well because I was His creation, made in His likeness. And nothing can nullify that spiritual fact or law.
I stopped blaming myself and began rejoicing in God's love for me. The illness quickly disappeared and I was completely free. No matter how separated from good we may feel, we can be assured that God's love holds us close to Him. And it's His love that shows us we always have enough good and that we are willing to recognize it.
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 make my bed in hell, behold,
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.