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Rush hour or prayer hour?

- Living Christian Science Today


Do you, like me, drive to work on a congested freeway? Is “rush hour” merely a time for sitting in traffic? It can be tempting to feel anxious about getting to our destination on time. In the city where I commute, I listen to the morning traffic report to time my trip so I don’t have to sit in traffic for extended periods, but I have come to realize that even during rush hour, the commute can be a prayer-filled and stress-free time.

One morning, sitting in especially heavy traffic, I began to ponder how Christ Jesus was always praying. I’ve found this to be a seriously wonderful jumping-off point for my prayers. Many of the healings Jesus performed occurred as he prayed while he was moving along from place to place, even when he was thronged with crowds vying for his attention.  

Of course it is important to be an alert driver, paying attention to the task at hand, and a prayerful approach to our driving is helpful in that regard. And when we are moving along, or when we are stuck in traffic, what better way to spend that time than to hold our fellow travelers in prayer as the harmonious, spiritual ideas of God, as Christ Jesus taught? I have found it particularly helpful to prayerfully contemplate, during this time, the Lord’s Prayer, with its spiritual sense given to us in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (see pp. 16–17); the “Daily Prayer,” as given in the Manual of The Mother Church (Mary Baker Eddy, p. 41); “the scientific statement of being” (see Science and Health, p. 468); and the tenets of Christian Science (see Science and Health, p. 497).

I’ve seen that this hour or two (depending on the length of the commute) spent in prayer is a holy time, and that such prayer can bless other commuters, too. For instance, through prayer, I have been led to anticipate instances of unsignaled lane changes or of drivers taking turns from the wrong lane, and to safely maneuver my car accordingly—evidence of myself and others being protected, guided, and cared for by God.

What better way to spend time than seeing our fellow travelers as the harmonious, spiritual ideas of God?

One morning, when seeing cars up ahead was nearly impossible because of the sun (sometimes called the “sunrise slowdown”), these lines from a hymn in the Christian Science Hymnal came to mind: “Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see / The distant scene; one step enough for me” (John Henry Newman, No. 169). And this enabled me to see what I needed to see to drive safely. My prayers led me to focus on the other vehicles right around me, instead of trying to see what the traffic was doing far down the road by looking right into the sun—and the ride to work was harmonious. 

God is always directing His children, His spiritual ideas. We can trust that when we turn to Him, we will be led, step by step, in the right direction. 

Turning our thought to God enables us to increasingly experience peace of mind and harmony—even during a long, congested commute.

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