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'Slime and pitch' - don't leave home without them

A Christian Science perspective on daily life

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Recently, my young teenage daughter and I traveled two continents away to the southernmost tip of Africa. We've traveled a fair amount - both separately and together - but this was farther than either of us had ever ventured.

What's more, we flew on separate itineraries - she and the others we were traveling with left five days earlier than I. So I had to get used to the idea of letting her go so far away without me.

A few weeks before her departure, we began preparing in earnest - setting clothes out and getting ahead on the schoolwork she would miss.

I wanted us to prepare for the trip spiritually as well. That week's Bible Lesson (from the Christian Science Quarterly) included the story of Moses' infancy (see Ex. 2:1-10). A vivid account of protection, this seemed like a good focus for praying about safe travels.

Moses was born during the time when Pharaoh had ordered Hebrew boys to be killed at birth. So his mother hid him for the first few months of his life. When that was no longer practical, she put him in an ark of bulrushes, which she placed on the edge of the Nile, where Pharaoh's daughter bathed. Moses' sister, Miriam, stood off to the side, waiting to see what would happen to her brother.

The Bible says that when Pharaoh's daughter discovered the crying baby, "she had compassion on him." Thanks to Miriam's intervention, Moses was safe, back in the arms of his mother for a few years before going to live with Pharaoh's daughter.

In considering the relevance of this story to our trip, we discussed the spiritual meaning of ark as it's defined in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," written by the Monitor's founder, Mary Baker Eddy. The first part of the definition is one word: "safety" (p. 581). I pointed out that in spiritual terms, we were traveling in the ark of God's safety. We could expect to be protected wherever we went by keeping our thoughts in this ark - attuned to God's creation, where evil is powerless to interrupt or overturn divine good.

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