Travel Tips for the Road of Life

Travel Tips for the Road of Life

© GLOW IMAGES
Models used for illustrative purposes

A guest post written by Will Heining

“Glory be to God, and peace to the struggling hearts!” Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health

Chicago in July. The sticky heat of Midway Airport was accentuated by the lack of air conditioning. Remodeling was on-going and we were paying the price in the long line at the Customer Service Center.

Most of us had been scheduled on a flight to St. Louis that had been cancelled due to a mechanical problem. To get us on another flight, we had to wind our way through the overflowing zig-zag rope course line, which was being served by agents at only three of the eight windows. It promised to be a long afternoon.

We shuffled forward with each new vacancy, slowly gaining precious real estate, until I was a mere 4 or 5 from the front of the line. “Think cool thoughts” “Only a little while longer now” was the mantra playing over and over in my head.

Then, as the heat bore down and the air stilled beyond belief, the sound of a child’s scream broke into our collective consciousness.

Turning as one we all saw the grandmother trying to keep the boy – at least ten, maybe twelve years old – inside the half-circle of her arms as she pushed a luggage cart piled high with bags. I looked back at the three agents but they all seemed pre-occupied with the task at hand. “Why doesn’t someone do something?” I thought. “Why doesn’t someone…? Then, I realized I was that someone. I turned to the fellow behind me – I was now at the front of the line – and told him I’d be right back.

I walked directly to the woman where she was standing at almost the end of the line. I asked her to please come with me. The boy stopped struggling once we began rolling the cart and a window opened up just as we regained the front of the line. I guided her to the window – my window that I had earned by weaving thru the zig-zag ropes course – and then I walked back to take her old place near the back of the line.

As I re-traced the zig-zag ropes course for the second time, I was happy that, although I had greatly sacrificed, I had done the right thing. Not only that, but I felt that my actions alleviated the stress of that line for everyone – and created a much healthier place while waiting in line. I eventually reached the front of the line again without any dramatic incidents and was told that I was being sent – by bus – to O’Hare Airport for their next flight to St. Louis.

When I got on the bus I saw the grandmother, her husband, and grandson all boarding this same bus. When she saw me, she gave me a big hug of thanks and I realized that giving up my place in line hadn’t actually cost me anything. We still had all ended up on the same bus.

So the next time you’re tempted to edge out that slow moving driver or refuse to yield the right-of-way to a crosswalk walker, remember that helping out your fellow man, carrying part of their load or even letting them go first Never puts you further back – we’re all on the same bus! And these selfless acts promote health for the giver and the recipient.

Mary Baker Eddy put it this way: “When man is governed by God, the ever-present Mind who understands all things, man knows that with God all things are possible.”

Innocent Eyes

Innocent Eyes

© GLOW IMAGES
model used for illustrative purposes

A guest post written by Will Heining

I was recently asked if I would rent to a small dog with a $500 pet deposit. I replied, “Yes, if only to meet a small dog who has $500!”

Then I started to think about dogs and sums of cash – where would he carry it – and why? Would a dog have any use for a nest egg? It seemed absurd and it occurred to me that I have never known a dog who was the least bit concerned about where he would sleep or where his next meal would come from. Interested – definitely! But never worried.

Children are great that way also. They are completely oblivious to money troubles or similar claims of lack. When I would answer a request for something with, “I don’t have enough money for that,” I can remember being met with a quizzical look. “Just go to the money store (ATM)!”

Once, decades ago, when I only had one two-year-old daughter, it was my task – on my way to work – to deliver her to the caregiver’s home where she would spend a carefree day with her every request met.

The car that we rode in had been slowly developing a problem, and once or twice before this particular day, it had stalled and refused to re-start until it had a sufficient cooling-off period. On this day, it suddenly stalled and was requiring a much longer time to re-start. (Maybe it wouldn’t start ever again!)

As I fiddled with the key, I caught sight of my daughter in the rearview mirror. When she saw that I noticed her, she started an impromptu game of Peek-A-Boo. “Oh sure,” I said, not playing along, “You want to play because you don’t know how bad the situation is.”

As I said that, I suddenly realized what those words meant. Becoming caught up in the false claims of lack, I was saying that there was a situation where praying couldn’t help, that it was possible, in a universe where God created everything good, that we could be kept from our good day by this lack.

I immediately declared that I didn’t know how bad the situation was either, I refused to acknowledge any power which would interrupt the harmony of God’s universe, and I began to play Peek-A-Boo! We soon found ourselves underway without undue disruption of our plans.

Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need…divine Love supplies all good.” This statement echoes Paul’s words in II Corinthians, “and God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.”

Both of these powerful statements illustrate what it is that dogs and small children sometimes seem to know better than us (so-called) grownups – and our experience is richer for listening to them.

Clear Teaching

Clear Teaching

Photo illustrated by svintus2010

A guest post written by Will Heining

Learning a new skill or a basic Truth isn’t something that happens every day. But, in his ministry to the people of what we now refer to as the Holy Land, Christ Jesus often used the everyday to help teach a new skill or a fundamental Truth. I was able to take advantage of such a teachable moment.

When we lived in the western suburbs of St. Louis, Charles, who was 6, and I were at the library together one fall evening. It was just before Halloween – daylight savings was still in effect – and we were waiting for a ride home. Positioned at the edge of the library’s large entrance patio – defining the line between pedestrian space and the driveway – was a row of round, fat, concrete posts evenly spaced and approximately three feet in height.Continue Reading

Cover All the Bases?

Cover All the Bases?

Incense sticks

A guest post written by Will Heining

When I taught 14-year-olds in Sunday School, my students would sometimes ask me if it mattered if they prayed and used medical means to sort of “cover all the bases.” That’s when I would tell them about the boy who prayed to the elevator gods:

As a result of someone in our town traveling on safari into a remote jungle village, a small boy – we’ll call him Sam – came from his parents thatched mud hut to live in our modern-day, mechanized society. Daily Sam would come across things that he had never seen and had no way of understanding. The elevator in his new apartment building was one such modern mystery.Continue Reading

Is God Mad at Me?

Is God Mad at Me?

A guest post written by Will Heining

A recent visitor to our downtown Los Angeles Reading Room seemed upset and stressed as he strode up to my desk and began what some might call a rant. He loudly reeled off a number of examples of what he saw as God’s anger with wrongdoers, chief among them the burning of Gomorrah and turning “the lady into salt.”

“Wasn’t God angry to do that to people?”

I could see that this was something that he had been mulling for awhile and, attempting to calm, I replied in measured tones, “If someone told me that God was angry at him because of his having done “bad things” – I would point out that God couldn’t possibly know anything about “bad things” because God is all good.  And if He couldn’t know about “bad things” – then how could he get mad about them?”  We then began to talk about what it was reasonable to expect God to give us.Continue Reading