Whether one's daily travels are local or worldwide, safety, which we think of as the norm, should never be taken for granted. Nothing wakes us up to this more starkly and sadly than some tragic incident such as the massive collision of two commuter trains in Washington, D.C., earlier this week or the recent crash of an Air France transcontinental flight. When terrible things like these happen, when lives are lost and people are injured, it's natural to want to know what can be done to prevent occurrences like this in the future.
In each of those cases, thorough investigations are ongoing. Was the equipment faulty? Were atmospheric conditions involved? Was human error a factor? Anyone with responsibilities directly connected with either the air travel or train travel industries will certainly be doing some soul-searching to be sure that they are doing everything possible to ensure the safety of travelers. And what about the rest of us? Is there anything we can do to help?
These incidents have awakened me to the realization that there is indeed something fundamental I can do to help ensure my own safety, as well as the safety of others. I can pay closer attention each day to guidance coming from God, my (and everyone's) heavenly Father. I need to open my thought in prayer to the wisdom God, the divine Mind, is constantly imparting to every one of His children.
The ability, alertness, and perception we need are given to us by God, and to the degree that we understand them, they will guide us even in extraordinary situations. We each include these spiritual qualities as God's reflection. They express the wisdom of God, and therefore the wisdom that is at hand for us to know and express. But we need to acknowledge this wisdom day by day and act in accord with it.
Our prayers for safety can also include the train operator, the pilot and crew, the bus driver, and so on. Amid the many demands and distractions they face, such prayer can support their efforts.
I find it helpful to give prayerful attention each day to realizing that God is the only real Mind governing all creation – and that this Mind is entirely good, loving, orderly, tender, and caring. The divine Mind is incapable of any error that could cause injury to anyone, or of making His children capable of causing injury to one another. To understand this enables a person to think clearly and act wisely; and in proportion as one thinks and acts in agreement with this truth, she or he experiences safety and contributes to the safety of others.
Yesterday morning I pondered these ideas in prayer, and I nurtured a sincere desire and effort to listen to and follow God's guidance throughout the day. While I was out on errands, I was able to respond quickly and safely to avoid hitting a car that pulled out of a drive onto my street as if my car was not there.
To me this incident illustrated the truths in this passage in the Bible: "My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion.... Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely.... For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken" (Prov. 3:21, 23, 26). Or as "The Message" interprets that passage: "Dear friend, guard Clear Thinking and Common Sense with your life; don't for a minute lose sight of them.... You'll travel safely.... Because God will be right there with you; he'll keep you safe and sound."
Clear thinking comes to us from God, as does spiritual sense, or spiritual intuition, which we all have in common as God's children. Because they come from God, His power of protection always accompanies their expression in us. It is true, as Mary Baker Eddy wrote in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," "God is not separate from the wisdom He bestows" (p. 6).
God's presence with us is the only real assurance of safety under any circumstance. His wisdom is here to guide every individual. What I've come to realize is that each individual who keeps his or her thought attuned to God's clear and sensible guidance contributes mightily to his or her own safety, and to the safety of others – locally, and worldwide. I'm endeavoring to do this more alertly each day.