Healthy holiday travel

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

As the holiday season approaches, thousands of people will be traveling to spend precious time with family and friends. If you're traveling for the holiday, here's a tip: you don't have to be sick.

When so many people travel in crowded conditions, the fear that they'll catch cold from one another can be great. But prayer is a sure antidote for any suggestion that sickness is necessary. The prayer I'm referring to is the kind taught by Christ Jesus, who put God first and took his direction from "Our Father," as he put it in the first line of the Lord's Prayer.

Mary Baker Eddy was a follower of Jesus' teachings and example, and she discovered that these were actually the core of what she named Christian Science. This Science works from the premise that man – male and female – is spiritual and continuously under God's care. Another premise of this Science is that God is good and does only good. God never made disease. Those basic facts have helped many people who rely on prayer for their health either prevent disease or quickly recover from it – no matter where they happened to be.

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A good example of how such prayer works is given in the Bible. Jesus and some of his disciples found out that a woman whom they knew was sick with a fever. According to Mark's Gospel, Jesus simply took her by the hand and lifted her up. The fever left her at once (see Mark 1:30, 31).

Mary Baker Eddy explained the basis of Jesus' healings in her book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by making the point that man is spiritual, not material. Colds, flu, and other contagious diseases are believed to spread through germs and microbes that invade human bodies and make them sick. So if we are thinking of ourselves as material beings, we could be vulnerable to those illnesses.

But it's apparent that Jesus had a different view. He saw each individual as spiritual, truly the child of an all-loving Mind, or God. And a loving God wouldn't want anyone to be sick. Science and Health explains this point: "Sickness is not a God-given, nor a self-constituted material power, which copes astutely with Mind and finally conquers it. God never endowed matter with power to disable Life or to chill harmony with a long and cold night of discord" (p. 378).

No one needs to have a "long and cold night of discord" while at home or while traveling. But sometimes being away from the comfort and security of home makes it seem harder to resist disease. That isn't actually true, because the same God who is with us when we're home is also with us when we're traveling. Divine Love never leaves us without its tender and thorough assistance. So whether you're in a train, a bus, a plane, or a car – if you're feeling sick, here's one approach you could take:

First, silently refuse to believe that you can be cut off from divine Spirit and the love that is flowing from God to you, every instant. That love is a permanent reality; it's not going away. Next, recognize that because God never made disease, it is powerless to touch anyone, including you. Resisting disease in this way is an effective way of preventing sickness. But even if you are already feeling ill, it can enable you to eliminate disease and be restored to health.

Once, while I was traveling, I became ill during the night. In my prayer, I rejected the belief that disease could ever be a part of the perfect and good identity God had given me. Gradually, these ideas became more real to me than the sickness. I felt peaceful and safe; I was also healed. The next day, I had a happy and busy day.

No matter where you spend your holiday, you can be confident that God's love will be present – preserving your health and keeping you safe from sickness.

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