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Before the Socks Go Into the Suitcase

A MAP or guidebook is a vital help to the traveler. As the traveler becomes familiar with its clear directions, the map guides actions naturally. In somewhat the same way, many have found the Bible and its companion book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, to be a vital chart for daily living. These books reveal God as divine Principle, Love, infinite Mind-and man as the spiritual idea of God. They teach that God is omnipotent and ever present, and that evil has no real place or power.

These truths are the ultimate "guidebook." A friend of mine once said that the Bible and Science and Health were the first items to be packed in preparation for a trip-"before the socks go into the suitcase." The point was not merely to pack books but to prepare for traveling by filling consciousness with the spiritual ideas they contain-and sticking with that spiritualization of thought along the way. As we do so, we find our thoughts filled with what the Bible terms "the fruit of the Spirit," with love, joy, peace, gentleness, and temperance. ". . . against such there is no law," says the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians (5:22, 23).

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A consciousness imbued with such qualities is able to meet, with equanimity and spiritual dominion, any adverse circumstance it may encounter. It partakes of the Christlike awareness of God, good, that Christ Jesus expressed so fully. Mrs. Eddy puts it this way in Science and Health: "Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts" (p. 261).

When you're traveling-and in your daily routine-you can acknowledge that the law of God, divine Principle, is the only governing force. It is ever active. Divine Mind, God, is the only Mind in control, and man, as God's image, is a reflection of this Mind. These truths eliminate the roadblock called fear. Maintaining in our thoughts this dominion over evil is not a process of human will. It is keeping thought aligned with the omniaction of omniscient Mind, which is caring for us each step of the way as we journey on.

Some years ago, my husband and I enjoyed traveling in our motor home. Again and again, the laws of God revealed in the Bible and Science and Health guided and protected us.

I recall that our motor malfunctioned one Sunday morning in a western desert, and how three men arrived in a pickup truck and were able to repair it. At other times, our sense of oneness with the laws of Love allowed us to show trust and hospitality or to dispel a neighbor's anger with love.

At one point, we acquired a small piece of land in a forested setting for weekend camping. On our first day there, we discovered that our neighbor on the narrow, country road was furious at us because she thought our motor home had hit her mailbox. I had put so much prayer into this step of finding a weekend camping spot that my spiritual view of man and his relationship to divine Love was clear. My heart went out to her as I realized that she was used to a quiet, rural atmosphere. A huge, unfamiliar vehicle seemed an invasion.

Silently reassuring myself of my own and this neighbor's God-given exemption from discord as His children, I found that her anger soon subsided. The glorious result was a new friend. She was a consolation to me in a time of sorrow, and we're still good friends.

The Science of Christ offers a joyous way of life. It is demonstrable in the minutiae of human experience, as well as in more daunting challenges. As we stay close to God in our thinking, divine Love ministers to our needs, each step of our life. Science and Health reassures us, "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need" (p. 494).

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Keep those "guidebooks" close at all times. You'll be glad! And don't forget to pack the socks!

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