The Proper Side Of the Road
HOW important it is, when one is driving a car, truck, bus, or even a bicycle, to be on the proper side of the road! Operating an automobile is so much a part of almost everyone's daily routine where I live that I often take driving very much for granted. While driving safely need not be a difficult task, I have found it quite helpful to be sure my thoughts and actions are governed by the divine Mind, God, at all times--and especially while driving. This one Mind is the source of intelligence and harmonious action. It's easy to say, for example, ``I have been driving for many years, and I am quite confident of my ability to control my car in any situation.'' It is no doubt better to be confident rather than fearful while driving. It is far wiser, however, to trust God and not just our own understanding. The Bible counsels in Proverbs: ``In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths'' (3:6). When I have followed that advice I have been able to be more patient with myself and others while driving.
I recently had an experience that reminded me of the need for daily trust in God's unfailing guidance and protection when driving. Prior to a vacation trip to Great Britain I made arrangements to rent an automobile there. Since the British traffic pattern is just the reverse of what I'm used to in the United States, I began to feel apprehensive about my ability to adjust quickly to travel on the left hand side of the road. The use of an automobile seemed to be a necessity, however.
We picked up the car at the rental agency and were assured that there really was no trick to driving ``on the proper side of the road.'' Still concerned, I asked if there were some way of indicating to the other drivers that I was from the United States. Whereupon the rental agent lightheartedly replied, ``Oh, they will know soon enough!'' I confess that his comment did nothing to help my mental state or bolster my confidence! By the time we arrived at our first stop, I felt physically and emotionally exhausted. I had been quite tense most of the way. It was clear to me that my thought about driving on the ``proper side of the road'' would have to change, and quickly, if I was to be able to drive around England for another two weeks.
I then did what I should have done at the outset: I turned to God in prayer for help and guidance. I had been helped and healed many times before, so I felt confident that this was a practical and sensible thing to do. In the Bible, in Mark's Gospel, Christ Jesus told his disciples, ``With God all things are possible'' (10:27). And I remembered Mary Baker Eddy's words in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. In this book the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science assures us, ``All is under the control of the one Mind, even God'' (p. 544).
I realized that this divine control included me as well as every other driver on the road, whether in Great Britain, the United States, or any other nation. As these truths filled my consciousness I realized that to drive safely (anywhere) was a right desire. I could trust God in the fulfillment of that desire. I felt a sense of calm and the certainty of God's presence.
I laughed to myself as I realized what this meant. I had really wanted to leave the driving to someone else! And now, in a way I could do just that. I didn't climb out from behind the wheel, of course, but I could and did relinquish a burdensome sense of responsibility--with the accompanying anxiety and tension--and yield to the control of the ever-operative divine Mind. What a relief!
The fears of that first day never returned. We drove over twelve hundred miles with ease, and were met with courtesy and understanding when we encountered other cars, even on narrow country roads. There is a line from a hymn in the Christian Science Hymnal that expresses the care I was feeling. It reads: ``For Thou throughout the journey / Thy loving care wilt show'' (No. 376). I was on the proper side of the road.