The constant flow of raging water surrounds me. Huge boulders loom up ahead, and on nearly every side steep cliffs tower over me. In other words, this is just an average day on the Salmon River in Idaho.
When I first learned about my school’s rafting trip, I was excited! We would spend about six days going down the river, navigating through rapids, setting and packing up campsites, and making our own food. The only thing that I was anxious about was whether my classmates and I would get along.
It seemed that my fears were coming true when problems began on the very first day of the trip. And as the trip went on, things between all of us only got worse, and I felt increasingly fearful.
Above the chaos, a clear idea I knew from the Bible popped into thought.
The peak of my fear was on the fourth day. Our raft was going to tackle a Class IV rapid, which was the most unruly rapid on the trip. For each Class III rapid or above, our team was required to go and scout it before we rafted it. We would study the rapids, point out any dangers to avoid, and discuss a potential route.
As I stood on that scouting spot, looking at the raging water below me, a million thoughts bombarded me, and I became worried about our team’s safety. If we couldn’t even get along on land, how were we going to navigate this dangerous rapid successfully?
Then, above the chaos, a clear idea I knew from the Bible popped into thought. Its message was: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). To me this means that sometimes there are pictures of the possibility of danger, or suggestions of fear, in our thoughts that seem very believable. But God’s messages, which help us know that as His spiritual ideas we’re safe, and that His harmony is actually present, are what we should listen to, because they are what’s really true. As we understand this, we not only feel peace, but we also know we can trust God’s guidance completely to protect us from danger.
Instead of danger and inharmony, I was witnessing God’s unity and harmony.
I prayed with this idea on the way back down to our rafts and until we reached the beginning of the rapid, knowing that God was there and guiding all of us. Then, as we descended down into the rapid, I had the “clear sense and calm trust” that Mary Baker Eddy talks about in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (see page 495). In spite of the roaring of the rapid, I felt calm and my thought was completely clear and aware. Instead of danger and inharmony, I was witnessing God’s unity and harmony. I felt a spiritual conviction that my guide, my teammates, and I could work together to go down this rapid, and come out unharmed. And we did!
After that, the rest of the trip went smoothly and harmoniously. The problems among the people in our group dissolved. And Proverbs 3:5 is now one of my favorite Bible passages! I love it because it relates to almost any situation and reminds me that instead of getting overwhelmed by something negative that I’m seeing in my health, in a friendship, or in my community, I can turn to God and trust His love and guidance to give me a new perspective that will bring healing.