At one time I was making several train journeys and not enjoying them at all. There was too much rush and push, and I usually ended the day feeling weary. But I also knew that there is no aspect of daily living that cannot be harmonized through prayer, and I saw that I needed to rethink the whole prospect of travel.
The Bible contains assurances of divine protection. One statement that seemed particularly relevant was, ''The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.'' n1 And that inveterate traveler, St. Paul, assures us, ''In him (God) we live, and move, and have our being.'' n2
n1 Psalms 121:8.
n2 Acts 17:28.
Reasoning along these lines, I could see that the whole subject of travel can be lifted beyond the reach of stress and chance and placed directly under the control of infinite divine Love, our Father-Mother God. So I resolved to start each journey with prayer - prayer that acknowledges one omnipotent God, good, as the only governing power.
I knew that God's will for His creation is perfect harmony, and that I was His beloved child, the object of His tender care. And I realized that not only is God Love, He is also perfect Mind, as the Scriptures imply. So in truth all must be governed by infinite intelligence.
When I endeavored to realize that the divine law of harmony applied to every traveler, and not just to me, lovely things began to happen. As my ideas of traveling were being transformed through reliance on God, so also was my experience. Instead of encountering rudeness and indifference, I found I was meeting with kindness and consideration.
On one journey I made from the north to the south of England, I had accumulated extra luggage for the return journey, and as I was traveling on crowded commuter trains, this threatened to pose a problem. Approaching a very busy station where it was necessary to change trains, and with very little time to make the connection, I realized that I could not handle my luggage without help. Porters were in very short supply, and the little luggage carts for the convenience of passengers had always proved elusive - there just never seemed to be one where I was.
However, by this time I was gaining confidence in my new approach to traveling, and felt sure that all would be well. I was learning to trust God, knowing that everything pertaining to my life was under His intelligent control. As the train came to a stop, I alighted to discover just one luggage cart, which I gratefully claimed. Walking toward the ticket gate, I found that it had been the only handcart on the whole of that very long platform. Here indeed was unmistakable proof of divine Love's provision. Nor did the proof stop there. On another very busy train a fellow passenger kindly took my luggage onto the platform. He also took the trouble to secure a luggage cart, which I was happily able to share with another traveler in need.
Just small instances perhaps, but sure proof that when we are willing to acknowledge God's power and protection, and to trust this completely, travel more and more takes on an entirely different aspect. Of course this does not mean that God is doling out things like handcarts to those He considers worthy. Far from it. Rather it means that when we are willing to pray with humility, as Christ Jesus taught us to do, we place our lives directly under the protection of divine law.
We can be sure Jesus started each journey with prayer. In fact, he lived a life of prayer. Speaking of Jesus and his disciples, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ''When he was with them, a fishing-boat became a sanctuary, and the solitude was peopled with holy messages from the All-Father.'' n3
n3 Retrospection and Introspection, p. 91.
So traveling need no longer be a wearisome business. Rather it can be an opportunity to prove our unity with God as His beloved children. Who would not wish to travel with his ''going out'' and ''coming in'' under the protection of infinite Mind? Human plans may go awry, but once we are willing to place our lives in God's hands, we find harmony. Instead of pressure we find peace; instead of confusion we find order. But best of all we feel ourselves companioned by the warmth of ever-present Love, and could there be a better way to travel? DAILY BIBLE VERSE Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not. I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech. . . . Keep as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings Psalms 17:5, 6, 8