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Driving with care

From the January 27, 2014 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel


Katherine
Courtesy photo

The first day of winter break was also the first snow of the season. I woke up to see the ground covered in white. Anyone knows that this is a most exciting way to wake up!

I had a list of errands I needed to run, and as I got ready, I saw a text from my mom reminding me to drive carefully. Without thinking much of it, I walked out to the car. As I scraped the snow off the windows, I realized that this was going to be my first time driving alone in snow.

The snow wasn't too deep, though, so I felt OK about setting out. As I started, driving safely wasn't a problem. But then as I made my first turn from the neighborhood to the main road, I felt my back tires sliding on the pavement. It was nothing big, but I began driving more slowly. Then, as I came up around the first roundabout, I found that I couldn’t stop. I had my brakes on but was still sliding at the same speed I had been driving. Without thinking twice, I pulled the handbrake and was able to regain control. I stopped before entering the roundabout and collected my thoughts, feeling grateful that I had been open to that angel message to pull the handbrake. In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy describes angels as "God's thoughts passing to man; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect; ..." (p. 581)—and I was thankful that I'd been led by this spiritual intuition to respond appropriately.

I collected my thoughts, feeling grateful that I had been open to that angel message to pull the handbrake.

I continued driving for about ten minutes and came to a stoplight at a big intersection. Right at the stop line there was a slight uphill incline, covered in ice. I pulled up as the first car in line and waited for the light to turn green. When it turned, I took my foot off the brake and began to push the acceleration pedal. I could feel my tires spinning underneath me. I could not get any traction on the ice. The light turned red again, the line of cars behind me began to pile up, and I started to feel afraid.

I once again turned my thinking to God, affirming the truth that I was being led by spiritual intuition to be just where I needed to be, and guided to do whatever I needed to do. I sat through the red light redirecting the fear by focusing on how loving and patient the woman behind me had been waiting through the green light. When I looked in my rearview mirror the woman was relaxed and seemed to understand that I was doing what I could in the situation. I was so grateful that she had not been honking angrily, and that we both recognized the need to be calm and collected in order to get our cars moving forward.

Through the endless red light I turned off my radio and began singing Hymn 95 from the Christian Science Hymnal, which has the refrain: “He leadeth me, He leadeth me, / By His own hand He leadeth me” (Joseph H. Gilmore). I focused on understanding that I would be led to do what I needed to do to drive safely through the snow and ice. When the light turned green it was still a struggle to move forward, but I kept repeating, “God is love”! This quote from First John 4:8 kept me calm and focused, and helped me to affirm that I was protected, loved, and inspired by God in every situation. As the light turned yellow, I felt traction and the car moved through the intersection. When the woman behind me passed by, she gave me a supportive smile.

I did my errands without problems, and as I drove slowly home, I continued to talk out loud, stating the spiritual qualities that I knew a road expressed. A road is firm, sturdy, supportive, substantial, and stable. I was being obedient to God's direction, so I didn't need to fear that these qualities could be hidden or taken away.

I kept this spiritual focus the rest of the way, and made it home safely. Now I'm more thoughtful about setting out in slippery conditions—but every time I'm driving, I remember that nothing can negate God's care for me and everyone. I should add that this lesson has held true whenever I've encountered "slippery conditions" off the road, too!


Katherine Kerr is a junior in high school. She loves traveling, running cross country, swimming, and hiking the Colorado Rockies at summer camp.

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