"I know that where I am, God is. So no place can be safer than where I go."

That was a saying that my great-grandmother taught my mom when she was a child growing up. And that saying is something remember remember each time I travel with my family.

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I was seven years old when I took my first trip out of the country to watch my sister graduate from high school in Puerto Rico. As our family was pulling out of the driveway in our car to catch a plane flight, my mother talked with me about the saying, and it brought me comfort.

On that trip, I memorized the saying so that I could recite it easily. Sometimes, I prayed to find new inspiration in the words. I know it was not just that little saying that made my travels great, but the knowledge that God always keeps us safe and protected, no matter what adventures we're on.

Several years ago, I was on a trip at a ski resort close to my hometown. I was having a great day, enjoying all the fresh air and the beautiful mountains. When I came up to the terrain park, a part of the resort where they have a lot of jumps, I thought to myself, "Hmmm, I'm going to try out that box rail." (A box rail is a wide rail you jump up onto after going off a little ramp.) Since I'd never done anything like that before, I was a little intimidated. But instead of letting fear get hold of me, I decided to lean on God for inspiration. And the first thing that came to mind was that saying, "I know that where I am, God is. So no place can be safer than where I go."

So I decided to go for it, knowing that God would be protecting me as I tried something new. Unfortunately, there was a little gap right before the box rail, which I hadn't noticed until it was too late, and my skis went into it. I faceplanted right onto the rail and slid across it.

I guess I must have looked like I'd really hurt myself because people who saw my fall wanted me to rest for a minute. But rather than being scared that I might have badly injured myself, I knew God was with me that instant. How could be in this wonderful spot that expressed so much beauty and peace, and feel anything less than joy? I was able to get right up and ski down the hill. There were no injuries, and I was fine for the rest of the day, grateful that I felt no fear.

Then, two summers ago, when I was 13, my mom took a group of high-school students and the family on a tour of Italy. I liked walking fast, and so did a few other kids. So we went ahead of our group on a nice mountainside path overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. We knew we were all meeting at a train station in the next town along the path, so we walked and walked and finally stopped and waited for everyone else. We waited for what seemed like a long time, but no one came. We started to get worried. Being in a foreign country and not able to speak the language felt scary. So I thought that it would be a good time to pray for guidance.

I calmed down and began to pray. Because I was listening to God, I had the idea that we should stop and wait. I knew God was taking care of things and I didn't have to be afraid. Soon, my friends and I recognized the little red umbrella our tour guide carried, and we knew we were found. The tour guide told us what had happened. Because we'd been walking so fast, we'd passed the original meeting point. From that point on, we were all happy to stick together.

Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896, "Always bear in mind that His presence, power, and peace meet all human needs and reflect all bliss" (p. 263). I like that line because it shows that God is always with us. His power and peace are constantly with me—even when I'm on a new adventure.

January 28, 2008

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