“I hate this trip,” said my boat mate as we sailed along the Maine coast.
I, too, hated this trip. The scenery may have been beautiful, but salt and water was all I’d been smelling for the past three days. My stomach felt like it was being mixed like a pot of soup, and I was a bit scared.
On this particular day, I had to navigate from one point to the next on our journey, and we had to sail pretty far—maybe six miles. The waves were big, and it was very foggy. Our thirty-foot-long boat seemed so tiny in the churning ocean, and I felt super anxious to get back onto safe, dry land. The water was so choppy and the boat so rocky that all four of us on the boat got seasick.
That night, we picked a terrible spot to anchor our boat—near a bunch of rocks—and the waves were relentless. I got stuck with the first anchor watch for that night, meaning I had to stay up for an extra hour while everyone else went to bed.
However, this turned out to be the night when I had a complete change of attitude about the trip. As I sat there on the deck staring up at the moon and stars, I found them to be beautiful, and I thought of God. I’ve learned in Christian Science that God is the source of all beauty and goodness. And because God is ever present, I must always be able to experience His goodness if I’m willing to turn my thoughts toward God instead of complaining. I knew that God was with me, even out in the middle of the ocean, where it seemed like we were so far away from safety and comfort.
“You know,” I suddenly found myself thinking, “maybe this trip isn’t as bad as I’m making it out to be.” I realized that instead of wishing I were somewhere else, I could thank God for this learning experience. I could thank God for always being with me, lighting my path. The brightness of the stars and moon reflected on the water reminded me of this. The Bible says, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (I John 1:5). This doesn’t mean the kind of light I was seeing on the water, but spiritual light—the inspiration I was getting that was causing all my dark, fearful, ungrateful thoughts to disappear.
As I was thanking God for all the things I was grateful for, I realized that my seasickness had completely vanished. Instead of wishing I could be somewhere else, I felt thankful for this moment of feeling close to God and knew that the rest of the trip could be peaceful and enjoyable. And it was.
This experience reminded me that whenever I’m facing a negative situation, the answer is always to turn my thoughts toward God, who has already supplied me with everything I need. It’s by turning to God that I’m able to recognize God’s goodness and find healing.