Finding protection and guidance while on the road
A Christian Science perspective: How can listening for God’s direction help us in our everyday lives?
“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” (Proverbs 3:5, 6).
I have found these Bible verses helpful in all areas of my life, including while on the road. Once, while driving home on an expressway, I was about to move into the fast lane when the thought came to me: “No! Stay where you are.” Seconds later, the car I would have been behind had I changed lanes blew a tire. The affected vehicle slowed down dramatically as the driver tried to regain control and get off the highway onto the median strip. Nobody was hurt, and a potentially serious accident was avoided.
From my study of Christian Science, I have learned that each and every one of us, in actual fact, is a spiritual idea, made in the image and likeness of God (see Genesis 1:26, 27). God-created and God-governed, we are inseparable from our Father’s infinite wisdom and loving care.
This means that God, who is divine Mind, is always communicating to us what we need to know, when we need to know it. A hymn I have always liked says in part:
He knows the angels that you need,
And sends them to your side,
To comfort, guard and guide.
(Violet Hay, “Christian Science Hymnal,” No. 9, © CSBD)
In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, defines angels as “God’s thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect; the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil, sensuality, and mortality” (p. 581). These messages of God’s love and care can come to us at any time, anywhere. As we acknowledge our true heritage as sons and daughters of God, and our inseparability from the divine good we reflect, we become receptive to God’s healing messages coming to us in our everyday lives. And even in frightening or uncertain circumstances, we can turn to divine Mind for help and guidance.
On one occasion, while a relative was driving home to another state, my mother and I heard on the radio that adverse weather conditions had caused a dangerous situation on the highway he would be taking during part of his journey. We immediately began to pray, affirming man’s inseparability from God and the receptivity to Mind’s direction we all inherently have as God’s reflection.
Later that evening we learned that our relative had heard on his car radio about a problem with black ice on the expressway. As traffic had begun to slow down just ahead of him, he’d noticed an exit ramp. He didn’t know that area, but he had felt impelled to take this exit. The thought had then come to him to pull onto the road’s shoulder and stay under an overpass until the weather conditions improved. He had done this, and several hours later, he’d made his way home safely, using various back roads he felt led to follow.
Unbeknown to him at the time, the exit he had taken was located just prior to a stretch of highway where the situation was particularly hazardous. We all were grateful for the guidance and protection he experienced that day. As I recall, he said later that although he did not usually pray, he had remembered the Lord’s Prayer (see Matthew 6:9-13) as he was sitting in his car, and he’d felt at peace.
Before giving that prayer to his disciples, Christ Jesus told them: “Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (verse 8). Jesus demonstrated throughout his ministry that we can pray to our Father-Mother God wherever we are, and that He gives us ideas that can prevent harm, bring healing, and meet our needs. Praying to be receptive to God’s angel messages enables us to “go out with joy, and be led forth with peace” (Isaiah 55:12).