Protected during a cross-country road trip
After spending the summer in Florida, I was making an all-day cross-country drive back to St. Louis by myself. On the road before the sun was up, I was initially apprehensive about completing such a long drive in one day.
To address the anxiety I was feeling, I started the first leg of my trip listening to that week’s Bible Lesson from the Christian Science Quarterly and some hymns from the Christian Science Hymnal. I began to feel much more peaceful and prepared for my day on the road.
A few hours later, I suddenly noticed large pieces of rubber flying off my front tire. In the few seconds before my tire completely blew out, I intuitively found myself able to switch lanes, steer toward the median, and safely bring my car to a stop.
Even though I had just been protected from what could have been a much more dire situation, I was hit with a wave of fear. I also felt overwhelmed and frustrated because I wanted to get home and this was interrupting my trip.
I suddenly noticed large pieces of rubber flying off my front tire.
My next thought, however, was some lines from a hymn I had been praying with earlier in the day. The first verse says:
From sense to Soul my pathway lies before me,
From mist and shadow into Truth’s clear day;
The dawn of all things real is breaking o’er me,
My heart is singing: I have found the way.
(Violet Hay, Christian Science Hymnal, No. 64 , © CSBD)
Although I wasn’t too sure my heart was singing at that moment, I did appreciate the idea that I could move out of “mist and shadow”—a scary incident outside of my control—into “Truth’s clear day,” which still awaited me on the rest of my drive. I held on to this idea as I made the necessary calls to get roadside help. I also felt confident that instead of expecting long delays before the next stretch of my trip, I could expect to see God’s harmony in action.
It was challenging, sitting alone in the median, watching my car sway from the force of other cars speeding by. However, it did provide me with an opportunity to change the way I was thinking about the situation. Another line of the same hymn mentions that “the loveliness of Love is all around.” I challenged myself to perceive that Love, God, really was all around me, and to affirm that Love had been around me throughout every moment of my drive. I also prayed to replace feelings of isolation and fear with trust and joy.
I challenged myself to perceive that Love, God, really was all around me, and to affirm that Love had been around me throughout every moment of my drive.
I was grateful that things went smoothly from there. The people who helped me replace my tire were friendly and helpful, and within another hour, I was safely back on the road.
The rest of my drive was uneventful, but I still felt confused about why something like a tire blowout had happened when moments earlier I had been feeling so inspired and at peace. It was as if I had been expecting a reward to come from my spiritual preparation and instead found myself faced with a problem. As I thought more deeply about it, though, I began to realize how protected I had been because of my preparation—and that other drivers on the road had been kept safe as well.
This experience was a testament to me of the power of divine Love that I’ve learned about in Christian Science. I’m so grateful for Christian Science hymns, which convey such loving ideas; for God’s messages, which are always right there when we need them; and for God’s law of harmony, which is actively governing us always. Practicing Christian Science is an immense blessing.