God's guiding presence

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

Two travelers in New Mexico set out in high spirits one sunny morning to visit the remote ruins and sites of the Anasazi Indians dating from AD 900-1100.

After an inspiring day of immersing themselves in the history and sacred culture of this early civilization, they prepared to leave. What lay before them in Chaco Canyon was the 19-mile-long unpaved road that led back to the main highway.

They'd been warned about driving that stretch in wet weather, which can come on without warning. The road is wide, but it's almost impossible to get traction when the claylike surface is moist. The cloudless sky had erased any concerns they might have momentarily entertained, however. It wasn't until late afternoon as they pulled away from the parking lot that the clouds suddenly multiplied and turned gray. Big drops of rain began splashing off their modest-sized sedan.

They exited the parking lot onto the wide, unpaved stretch leading to the main highway, confident that they would reach the paved road before it rained enough to affect the packed surface adversely. How wrong they were! The car zigzagged back and forth. The driver struggled to hold it from slipping off the edge of the road. Her efforts only moved the vehicle closer to the edge. Braking was ineffective.

As she tells the story, she immediately declared, "God is here, and we cannot be separated from Him." She and her friend knew that God is Mind, another name for the one divine intelligence that is with us always, and they both called on Mind to direct them. She said she felt so close to God at that moment of need, she could reach out to touch Him, and that whatever she did next would be directed by Him.

When the car came to an abrupt stop a few feet from the edge of the road, the woman switched the ignition off. She and her friend sat for several minutes in the silence of the expansive landscape, each absorbed in listening to what divine intelligence was imparting to them.

Then, feeling God's ever-present help and guidance, the one driving started the engine, stepping gently on the accelerator. The vehicle inched forward. She cautiously steered toward the center of the road. Despite the wet surface, the car responded. (During this time, they saw no other cars.) Slowly but surely, in the now steady rain, they progressed along the increasingly slippery road, singing together hymns from the "Christian Science Hymnal." One in particular (No. 99), based on Psalm 91, gave them confidence that even in such a difficult situation, they were in God's loving care:

He gives His angels charge o'er thee,
No evil therefore shalt thou see;
Thy refuge shall be God most high;
Dwelling within His secret place,
Thou shalt behold His power and grace,
See His salvation ever nigh.

During the drive to the highway, they continued to sing hymns of praise. They gained a deeper conviction of God's unerring direction as the ideas in the hymns quelled their previous panic. And they arrived safely at the paved road.

You may never have to drive along a wet clay road in a remote part of New Mexico. But we all may have times when we really need to feel God's presence and love close enough to touch. And you can be sure that divine Mind is with you every moment every day.

Whatever our "rainy day" experience, the sunshine of God's Love is there for us, dispelling clouds of doubt, fear, or inadequacy. Knowing that each day is really God's day – God's light shining regardless of what's going on around us – supports our efforts to make our daily round count for something more than just another day come and gone. This conviction gives purpose to our plans, focus to our intentions, and direction to our actions. Placing our hand in God's each morning, rain or shine, upholds our resolve to feel His strengthening presence as we prepare to live our day under the shelter of His protective umbrella.

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