Healed on a field trip
For today’s contributor, chaperoning a school trip became an occasion to not only learn about her nation’s capital, but experience God’s love and care in a tangible way.
As one of several chaperones on a recent field trip to Washington, D.C., with my grandson’s middle school, I expected each day would be filled with activity as we wound through the sights and sounds of our nation’s political heartbeat. In keeping with my usual morning routine, I started each day turning to God in prayer. During this time inspiration flowed that gave me confidence, joy, strength, and patience. These prayers were my anchor each day as I interacted with the whole group of 60 8th-graders.
I was especially inspired by the many accounts in the Bible of people who journeyed to their destination while trusting God to keep them safe. For instance, the book of Exodus recounts the children of Israel leaving Egypt for the Promised Land with Moses. The deeper story is how their growing trust in God brought help, such as food, when they needed it. These stories of generations long ago still served as precious examples for me. I thought of the trip as an opportunity to witness God’s goodness and love for all His children.
But by the fourth day of the trip, the demands of keeping the students in my group together, walking countless miles, standing for lengthy periods during exhibits and tours, and navigating around the many others visiting D.C. at the same time had taken a toll. There came a point when I realized I was in a lot of pain while walking.
I immediately thought of something “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, says in relation to physical exertion: “If it were not for what the human mind says of the body, the body, like the inanimate wheel, would never be weary. The consciousness of Truth rests us more than hours of repose in unconsciousness” (p. 218).
I started thinking about the wheels on the bus that drove us into the city. They weren’t tired, yet their journey was far more vigorous than ours! This helped me see how important our thinking is. I strove to be more conscious of divine Truth, which is another name for God, instead of dwelling on how weary I felt.
The truth, I realized, was that God can’t produce pain any more than He can cause fatigue. As God’s sons and daughters, we are made in His flawless, harmonious, spiritual likeness.
The more I was willing to realize that God is the very source of strength and buoyancy, the more I saw that I couldn’t lack the vitality and freedom needed each day. From a spiritual perspective, the fullness of God’s day belongs entirely to God and exists for His glory – not mine, not anyone else’s. Our purpose is to express God’s many qualities, such as love and joy, in all we do.
An honest desire to put God first turned things around quickly for me. Within minutes I was able to move about without pain or discomfort. For the rest of the trip, as day followed day, I thoroughly enjoyed every moment. Each day was full and brimming over with great activities, which I enjoyed without pain or fatigue, and the students stayed with their groups and listened thoughtfully during tours. I felt such a clear sense of “God’s got this!” – of being divinely cared for along the way.
There is a hymn I love that says,
As the stars in order going,
All harmonious, He doth move;
Heavenly calm and comfort showing,
Comes the healing word of Love.
(J. O. Wallin, “Christian Science Hymnal,” No. 263)
We are never without help. As the Bible notes, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalms 46:1). God is also omnipotent – all-powerful. Through prayer we can expand our view of the order and harmony of God’s spiritual creation, and as we do we find that we have opportunities every day to see evidence of God’s presence and power.