I HAD a flight to make at a time when air travel seemed hazardous, and I sensed a palpable unease at the prospect among those around me. When the day came, a solicitous airport official asked me, ``Are you going to be all right, traveling alone?'' I reassured him, but his rather emotive words ``traveling alone'' lingered in my thought. As I sat in the airport lounge waiting for the flight to be called, I began to remind myself why not one of the people there was really traveling alone, however much it might seem so. I realized that each one in his own way could become aware of the supporting presence and indeed companionship of God, divine Love, constantly caring for and protecting His entire creation, and that this could provide whatever help might be needed along the way. Even veteran travelers, reveling in their own self-sufficiency, would benefit greatly from this concept of God's ever-presence, especially if confronted with turbulent weather conditions, mechanical failure, or everyday confusion and delay.
The understanding of God's omnipresence brings a different, more spiritual sense of life, of ourselves, and of our surroundings, and a different, more spiritual sense of where our help comes from and of the many different ways in which it is shown. We gain a quiet confidence that circumstances can suddenly change from the apparently insurmountable to the surmountable, because we begin to realize that chance and physical force don't really govern man. Man is governed by God, and God is omnipotent. So our true being is always safe in God's care.
Man, as the Bible reveals him to be, isn't a solitary mortal, left to his own devices for protection and guidance and perhaps jostled by other mortals busily engaged in looking out for themselves. Rather, man is the very outcome of God, His expression, inseparable from Him, and as such he has a God-defined purpose in the divine order of being, which isn't vulnerable to dislocation and disruption.
As I reasoned along these lines, I thought too of the spiritually enlightened approach Christ Jesus showed to traveling. His method of transport was at times a fragile fishing boat, and turbulent seas could be a threat. The Bible tells of an occasion when his companions felt very much at the mercy of the elements. Yet even in a raging storm Jesus slept peacefully--not the sleep of apathy but of serenity and spiritual alertness. When his disciples woke him, Jesus ``arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.'' Then he asked them, ``Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?''1 At another time Jesus said, ``I am not alone, because the Father is with me.''2 And he indicated that the utilization of divine power is something each one of us can begin to understand and benefit from.3 It brings a progressive sense of freedom and protection.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, writes: ``Christian Science reveals God and His idea as the All and Only. It declares that evil is the absence of good; whereas, good is God ever-present, and therefore evil is unreal and good is all that is real. Christian Science saith to the wave and storm, `Be still,' and there is a great calm.''4
That particular flight went very smoothly, and from it I realized that ``traveling alone'' doesn't just relate to going someplace physically. It extends to all our mental journeys. And through a perception of God's omnipresence we can surmount whatever hazards these may seem to involve. Our spiritual sense tells us that we aren't traveling alone, because God is always with us.
1Mark 4:39, 40. 2John 16:32. 3See John 14:12. 4Retrospection and Introspection, p. 60. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?...If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. Psalms 139:7,9,10