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Out of the woods

From the June 25, 2018 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

Twenty campers. One small cabin. Four days in the woods.

I was spending two weeks of my summer in Colorado with 19 other teens. Part of my summer trip involved four days in the woods in a rustic cabin up in the mountains. Because the cabin is very small, we would all be sleeping and living in close quarters. It was an opportunity to grow closer as a group and to participate in team-building activities. 


We arrived at one o’clock in the afternoon, and by six o’clock, two people were feeling sick. By the second day, almost the whole group wasn’t feeling well, including our counselors. That left just a few of us to do the chores of 20 people and to take care of everyone. It seemed like something we’d eaten was to blame.

I was doing OK at first, but then I, too, eventually felt sick and started to give in to the discomfort. That’s when I had a realization. 

In the Christian Science Sunday School, I’ve learned that we are actually the expression of God, who is totally good. So my realization was that all the qualities we were expressing while we were up there in the woods—including joy, love, and generosity—were evidence of our spiritual nature as the manifestation of God. And where God’s goodness is, there’s no room for anything negative like sickness. The fact that God fills all space negates the belief that evil of any kind could be present. 

I lay in bed thinking about this idea, and the next day at breakfast, I shared my insight with the group. Everyone really clicked with the idea and agreed that it connected to their own prayers over the last day or two. We could feel our thoughts shifting and the cloud of sickness lifting. It wasn’t instantaneous, but things were starting to turn around.

My favorite part of this healing was that it included everyone. We all woke up to the fact that God’s goodness really is all there is. And by the next day, everyone was ready to participate in our service project for the trip: painting the cabin where we’d stayed. We all jumped into the work with enthusiasm and energy. And afterward, everyone was able to hike back down the mountain.

That night, we sat in a circle and gave gratitude for what we’d just experienced. Though the first couple of days had been difficult, we all agreed that learning to rely on each other—but most of all on God—had been a huge blessing.

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