I was strapped into an airplane seat, flying from California to the East Coast. I wasn't afraid of flying, but my recent traveling had been taxing. Because of delays due to mechanical trouble and bad weather, I'd already lost an entire day. I was also concerned about inconveniencing the people who were going to meet me at my final destination late that night.
While flying, I was reading "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science. I was particularly attracted to the phrase "no lapse from nor return to harmony." The entire sentence in which that phrase appears reads: "The relations of God and man, divine Principle and idea, are indestructible in Science, and Science knows no lapse from nor return to harmony, but holds the divine order or spiritual law, in which God and all that He creates are perfect and eternal, to have remained unchanged in its eternal history" (pp. 470-471).
I was finding comfort in the idea that "divine order" and "spiritual law" existed. Further down the same page, the book states, "The facts of divine Science should be admitted, – although the evidence as to these facts is not supported by evil, by matter, or by material sense, – because the evidence that God and man coexist is fully sustained by spiritual sense."
I prayed with this idea all during the first leg of this flight, wanting to be open and receptive to what God would show me about my inseparable relationship to Him as His spiritual creation – His beloved idea.
After landing at the airport, I needed to take a monorail-type transport to another terminal to catch a connecting flight. A few minutes into the ride, the car stopped, and the lights and air conditioning cut off. It was crowded. I had been the last one to board, and there was barely enough room for me to stand. We had stopped on an overpass, and, through the windows, I could see busy traffic below us. Even if we had been able to get the doors open, we wouldn't have been able to exit.
We were stuck.
After several minutes, I felt the same consternation that the other passengers were feeling. My first prayer was, "Oh, God, please don't let me miss my flight again."
I glimpsed in that moment, though, that there was a better way to pray. I could see the possibility of knowing that God, as the divine Principle Mrs. Eddy wrote about, is a governing power – that I could bring that power to bear on my problem by recognizing God as the only governing power, no matter what the circumstances. I stopped praying for my plans to go uninterrupted. Instead, I paused and quietly reasoned that there were no breakdowns in God's well- governed, well-run creation that we are each a part of.
This took courage and some determination. But as I stood there, praying to see God's control in spite of the predicament I was seeing and feeling around me, I began to feel peaceful. Praying to affirm that God was in control, and not mechanical devices, got easier. The reading, pondering, and praying I had done earlier in the day were fortifying me, and I began to feel assured that "God and all that He creates are perfect and eternal."
After several minutes more, the tram began to move, and I made my flight, even though the gate had already closed when I got there.
This experience has made me realize two things: First, it's important to turn to God for inspiration, direction, and revelation before beginning a journey or any other endeavor. Second, we don't have to feel helpless when circumstances place obstacles in our path.
If we will quietly and steadfastly insist, right where we are, that in God's divine order there is "no lapse from nor return to harmony," God will show us how our place in His perfect plan remains unchanged.