See what Love has prepared
photo – CS Monitor
So I’m driving my old 1968 VW camper bus with my friend Scot up to visit his grandpa on his homestead along the Wind River in Wyoming. My VW has a habit of occasionally eating its fan belt, so I always carry a couple spares. I am between jobs so I figured it’s cheaper replacing the fan belts than repairing the problem.
Scot and I’ve been driving non-stop for hours now across the vast lonely open spaces of eastern Oregon when suddenly the VW’s warning lights come on. It ate a fan belt. We pull over, open the engine hatch, I pop on another, and we’re on our way.
A half hour later the warning lights come on again! What?! Another fan belt’s gone. I know I have one more, so I fix it. But now I’m nervous. We haven’t passed a town or a gas station for a long time and the idea of being stuck without help and maybe missing out on visiting Grandpa is disconcerting to say the least.
I start thinking, “Well, if it’s right to see Grandpa, it’ll work out.” It’s Wednesday night and Scot suggests that we have our own little testimony meeting (as is common in Christian Science churches) and so we do. I’m reluctant at first, but Scot starts off and soon we’re sharing things we’re grateful to God for and my anxiety lessens dramatically.
Until the dashboard lights up again.
We’ve burned through 3 fan belts in the space of 60 miles. Plus now there are mysterious metal shavings coming off the engine pulley. Ugh. I rummage around anxiously and – find one last spare fan belt. It feels like a minor miracle.
We put it on, get back in the VW, and this time, both of us start to pray.
Praying trusts our deepest desires to God. It turns us away from the fatalistic resignation of “if it’s right, it’ll work out” kind of thinking. Knowing that God is Love and that Love is power helps us let go of fear, let’s us become still, lets us see the solution – the salvation – Divine Love has always already prepared for us.
And that’s exactly what happens to Scot and me.
Praying lets me glimpse that if God really is Love, and if God really is power, and if God is really actively present in our lives, then I can be a witness to that. I cling to this idea. You could say I “stand still” with it, because it is a solid Biblical truth. Not an “if it’s right it’ll work out” kind of thing. No. Solid. It helps me actively look and see what Love has prepared for us, right here and right now.
That’s all I need to do: just see what Divine Love has prepared for us.
What a wonderful feeling that is, to know that my job right now is just to be a witness of what Love has already prepared for us. It’s actually fun to think about – because you know it has to be good. Mrs. Eddy – whose life was full of such witnessing, wrote: “Each successive stage of experience unfolds new views of divine goodness and love.” (Science and Health p. 66:14)
And that is about to be proven.
So we drive on. And on. And in the growing twilight we see some buildings up ahead. We’re on the outskirts of Boise already! And there, just off the road is… a VW dealership!
It’s almost 9pm now and we figure we can just pull in there, sleep in our bus for the night, and wait until morning to get help. But then we notice that the back door of the building is open. But instead of being happy, I start to worry “what if no one’s there” or “what if someone is there, but they don’t want to help us.”
Then I remember, no! Let’s just see what Love has prepared for us.
So we park and walk through the open door. There are five mechanics busily putting things away and cleaning up and obviously getting ready to leave. I start to worry again about burdening them with our problems but then remember again “just to see what Love has prepared” and I hear myself asking “Can you help us?”
One of the mechanics comes over, wiping his hands off on a red shop rag, he asks us what’s the problem.
We tell him the story, how we’re on our way to visit Scot’s grandpa, how the VW ate three fan belts and now there are these metal shavings and we weren’t sure why.
He comes out to our VW bus and looks at the engine. Then quietly goes back inside and starts looking through a junk box. My mind is filling again with “what if he can’t find what we need” and then immediately I go back to that solid thought of just trusting that God is present, blessing all of us, that we actually can see what Love has prepared.
He pulls out a pulley wheel and rummages around some more and – in the midst of this big box of all kinds of junk – finds a tiny shim, the missing little piece of metal that wedges the pulley wheel correctly in place. Then he looks around under a shop bench, finds a box of fan belts and pulls out one that had come off an old Chevy. “This’ll fit” he says, then goes back out to our VW and installs everything, sliding in the missing shim, adjusting the torque on the pulley bolt correctly, and putting on the belt just right.
Then the worrying thoughts start to come back again: We hardly have any money. How much is this going to cost? How am I going to pay for this?
But I stop. And then I sincerely go back in my heart, remembering to just stop being afraid and see what Love has prepared. He looks up at us and says “That oughta do it” and I ask him how much we owe him, and he says “Nothing. Just go have a good visit with your grandpa.”
Maybe all of twenty minutes have passed and, after shaking his hand and thanking him profusely, we are back on the road to Wyoming – rejoicing to be witnesses to the wonderful kindness that Love had prepared for us.
I’ve leaned on this lesson many times since that trip. And it has made me realize how important it is not to resign my thinking to fatalism, to the “if it’s right, it’ll work out” kind of wishful thinking that has nothing to do with the way Jesus taught us to pray and rely on God. Jesus taught us to silence that kind of wishywashy fearful approach. He taught us instead actively pray, to be expectant that God’s goodness for us is present, right where we are, to leave fear behind, to stand still with Love, and then go to that place inside where we can see the salvation of the Lord – where we can feel ourselves being an active witness to what Love – not fear, or fate, or history, or circumstances – has prepared for us.
Mrs. Eddy wrote: “Immortal Mind is God, immortal good; in whom the Scripture saith ‘we live, and move, and have our being.’ This Mind, then, is not subject to growth, change, or diminution, but is the divine intelligence, or Principle, of all real being; holding man forever in the rhythmic round of unfolding bliss, as a living witness to and perpetual idea of inexhaustible good.” Misc. 82:28
So why give in to thinking “If it’s right it’ll work out” when God is already holding you in His arms? When you are already His “living witness to… inexhaustible good”?
Divine Love has great things in store for you. Don’t be afraid. Listen to the intuition that guides you to trust in God and His goodness. Silence the fear and still your thoughts, and stand focused on witnessing God, divine Love, in action.
This is seeing the salvation of the Lord. This is receiving your daily bread – your daily experience of the grace of God. This makes your life a great adventure of giving as well as receiving Love’s blessings.
Oh, and by the way, Scot and I had a great time at Grandpa’s ranch, a safe drive home, and my VW bus never ate a fan belt again.
by Mark from the Christian Science Society of Encinitas, Ca.