Ah, summer time in Austin, Texas. Are we having fun, yet?
Like many Austinites, you may be ready for a get-away from the heat, from the grind, from school or from work. A summer vacation out of town sure can be inviting. Journeys either near or far beckon us, like an oasis in the desert, sparkling and refreshing and new. Okay, are you ready? Let’s go… with God!
Trips away from the ordinary day-to-day can truly revitalize us, give us a new perspective on our lives, and bring us home with a better attitude and with more peace of mind. I’ve certainly found that very often to be the case. But, on the other hand, stepping out of the comfortably familiar can also often be jarring, cause worry and bring on new challenges that we may be unprepared for. Fortunately, I find that every trip I go on tends to give me precious opportunities to prove that no matter what would appear, no matter where we would be, we are always still home in the familiar, safe, comfortable, and comforting space that Is our “mobile” home: God’s care, guidance, protection, and affection.
It definitely behooves us to get ourselves grounded before we take wing or wheel. We can actively assert and establish our true stability, the very fact that no matter where we roam, we are settled within the Mind of God, an idea under His watchful care, shepherded along our way, never alone, and always accompanied by a familiar companion: God’s love shown through His active and available and healing divine Science. The Truth of our being may be infinite, but it can always fit sufficiently in our carry-on! God’s ideas are immediately accessible, and we will never get out of range of those, no matter how unfamiliar the territory seems to be. The angels are always at the ready.
I love Mary Baker Eddy’s definition of “Ark” in Science and Health:
“Safety;…the understanding of Spirit, destroying belief in matter. God and man coexistent and eternal;…the ark indicates temptation overcome and followed by exaltation.” (page 581)
This spiritual definition can be utilized when we embark on any journey. Our “ark” is our car or truck, a train, a plane, a ship. It is whatever transports us forward into life, into blessings, into the revelation of God’s creation seen newly and with grateful joy, and which also protects us along the way. We are coexistent with God, so we never leave Him, never depart from goodness, Love, wisdom, clarity, peace. These preserving qualities are ours wherever we are, just as the new vistas we behold can never truly depart from us either, even when we come home. They are within Mind to be claimed and re-claimed!
On a recent journey, I was able to prove this healing concept of ark, most specifically the “temptation overcome and followed by exaltation.” I had really looked forward to a return visit to Paris. I fell in love with it and the experience I had there almost three years ago, and I felt the time was right and inspired to go back. I had prayed for safety and peace of mind before the trip and had others supporting me with their prayer as well. I felt confident and ready and the trip proved to be even better than I had imagined—the weather was divine, the place we chose to stay was just right, and I actually achieved the miraculous (to me): I actually GOT AWAY mentally and physically!
As we tearfully but gratefully left the city and the continent and headed back to the United States with Austin (home) as our final destination, I was continuing to pray. Our days and nights in Paris had so naturally led us to unexpected delights, as if God had just said, “No, I think you should turn here, instead of there…Follow me, I know a really sweet spot!….Wait till you see what I’ve created over here!” So, I needed to continue to trust this guidance by my Shepherd/Tour Guide and to know that we would get back to our home pasture safe and sound. In fact, we hadn’t really left it, hadn’t left God’s control, His sanctuary of peace and beauty. We had simply explored it.
Well, I can’t say I completely kept my cool when we arrived in Minneapolis (our connection back to Austin), sailed through customs, only to find that three full terminals in the airport had been shut down completely since that morning due to a power outage. Nothing was moving and lines of distressed passengers swarmed the place. Plus, many areas of the airport were sweltering without the air conditioning running. Argh! I just crossed the ocean, I’m jet-lagged, stiff, smell like a plane and feel like a three-day old rag. No one seemed to know anything, many workers were overwhelmed and rather rude, and all the monitors at the airport still said our departing plane was “on time.” I was about to really lose it. As my family and I paced around and made calls home, I felt the tears of weariness and frustration well up in me. I was afraid I was going to have a melt-down.
And then, I heard a little voice. One of those angels that fit in my carry-on (the one I still had with me) gently caressed me with truth. It said: You are dwelling in harmony, My harmony. Chaos is not allowed here in spite of appearances to the contrary. You are right here and now in the midst of my harmonious action. Relax and be grateful.
That was it! I calmed down right away and realized that real harmony didn’t come from some particular human outcome I hoped for, but was something that could never be lost and never had been! I was still in the ark, still co-existent with God’s governing Principle. I could trust that and let Him reveal His loving plan.
With that thought things improved quickly. No, the power didn’t come back on, but a light did come on in my thought. I was led very naturally to bypass a line of literally hundreds of people waiting or hoping for some answers (no one really had any at that point) and for rescheduling of flights, and found a special telephone for my airline which gave us immediate access to an agent. She re-booked us for the next morning, gave us very helpful and understanding advice about hotel arrangements, and assured us we were “good to go!” And we were!
We went to a hotel close by with free airport transportation, almost immediately went to sleep, woke up refreshed and ready to go (all of us remarked that it was one of the best sleeps we had ever had!). We were exactly on time to catch the first shuttle back to the airport. It was a beautiful, clear morning. The airport was calm and everyone was very kind. It was like an entirely different place! Our flight was on time, comfortable, and I felt really uplifted, inspired, and ready to get back to my life in Austin with renewed vigor. Some especially vital ideas came to me while on that flight and were shared with my traveling companion. The ark was sailing, and the exaltation had begun! We arrived home timely and were met with flowers and welcoming smiles from our family and friends picking us up. The weary heaviness of the previous day was gone and our homecoming was strewn with fresh flowers of love!
So, why not take a vacation! Get in that ark and take a break not only from your usual surroundings, but from a belief that we can ever be out of God’s control or that any part of our lives here or far away can be anything less than just right!
Submitted by our guest blogger, Laura Moliter, who is a Christian Science practitioner, writer, and singer-songwriter living in Austin, TX