``HOW can you stand the traffic?'' a friend asked with reference to my daily drive to the city. ``Doesn't it terrify you?'' There was a time when my answer to the first question would have been ``I can't!'' And to the second, ``Yes!''
But then several years ago it developed that the only way I could get to and from my job, which involved erratic hours that didn't fit with bus schedules or car pools, was to drive myself. So if I wanted to keep this job--which I loved--I had to stop letting the traffic interfere, and pray. In my study of Christian Science I had learned that man is the image of God, constantly reflecting His wisdom and intelligence. And I knew that in reality I was that perfect image, and therefore fearless.
In the Bible we read: ``Be not afraid of sudden fear.... For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.''1 Pondering this verse and working with it in prayer, I began to realize that if I approached every trip certain of God's loving presence, I could drive in even the worst traffic with poise and confidence. And I recognized this as a fact; it wasn't just vague, wishful thinking, dependent on chance.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``Accidents are unknown to God, or immortal Mind, and we must leave the mortal basis of belief and unite with the one Mind, in order to change the notion of chance to the proper sense of God's unerring direction and thus bring out harmony.
``Under divine Providence there can be no accidents, since there is no room for imperfection in perfection.''2
As I studied this passage I began consistently to exchange ``the mortal basis of belief'' in myself as a timid driver, a vulnerable mortal, for the conviction of my true nature as God's offspring, which doesn't include vulnerability. I knew that in my real being I am inseparable from God, divine Mind, and therefore perfectly reflect divine intelligence and judgment. Every day before I set out I prayed to discern and be obedient to God's direction, affirming my unity with Him. And gradually my confidence grew.
While there was mounting evidence of God's presence during my daily drive, one particular instance stands out as a prime example of His unfailing protection. In my prayers that morning I was led to put special emphasis on the unreality, the utter nonexistence, of accidents in God's kingdom. And I knew--as Jesus said3--that this kingdom was right within me, within my true, God-bestowed consciousness of life. Mrs. Eddy's words quoted earlier were uppermost in my thought: ``Accidents are unknown to God.''
It was very early, still dark, and I was traveling in the inside (left) lane through an intersection where I had the green light. Suddenly a car ran the red light from my left and would have crashed into me if I hadn't swerved sharply to the right, missing him by inches.
``What luck!'' one might have said. ``What if there had been someone beside you in the right lane?''
But I refused to mull over all the ``what ifs.'' I knew this wasn't just a ``lucky break'' or a ``near miss.'' It was divine protection. My prayers had so thoroughly imbued my thought with God's presence and His love for all His children that I knew neither I nor anyone else could possibly have been injured. I drove on to work, rejoicing in my God-given dominion, humbly grateful for the Father's guidance.
In the Bible we read, ``This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.''4 My experience had certainly proved this.
So what did I say to the friend who wanted to know if the traffic terrified me? A heartfelt ``No.'' And then quietly I thanked God that I could reply so confidently--and could know the reason why.
1Proverbs 3:25, 26. 2Science and Health, p. 424. 3See Luke 17:21. 4I John 5:14. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth . . . The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. Psalms 121:2,8