Wow! What a great weekend. Packed with tons of inspiration, fun, and new friends, this past DiscoveryBound event in Texas was a real gift to be included in. And after such a great weekend, the flight home has to be perfect, right?!
Well…it wasn’t shaping up to be that way.
My ride to the airport was very harmonious and joyful – great conversation with my kind host and not many cars on the road. But I had been dropped at the airport under the assumption that this was a quiet, early morning flight, and that the airport would be pretty quick. One look at the lines told me otherwise. Right off the bat, I was kicking myself for not printing my boarding passes earlier – and starting off with a mistake seems like a wide welcome to a day of disharmony.
Whether it’s at the airport or anywhere else, isn’t that often the pattern? If we (or someone else) has made a mistake, especially early on, it can seem very hard to stand back up and redeem that mistake, or even to just carry on with some measure of grace. Once a mistake has been made, it’s a wide and easy path to the rest of the day (or relationship, or job, or school…) going down the tubes.
And this pattern did seem to follow faithfully that morning. Once I actually got in the security line, I looked at the clock and saw I had 25 minutes to make my flight. As is my habit, I started praying. It wasn’t a very graceful prayer – it was more the frenzied uttering of, “It’s right and harmonious that I make my flight, because I have to get home to feed my dogs and cats, and maybe the plane can be late…OH NO it says it’s on time, well maybe You can delay it God?” And so on. Truly, it was a pretty selfish prayer. When I had gotten a quarter of the way through the line, and saw I had 10 minutes left to make my flight, a momentary sliver of hope was crushed by hearing an airport employee telling the folks ahead of me it would be at least 15 more minutes from there to get through security. This news almost made me give up and just dissolve into frustration.
And then, like a flash, it hit me: I could pray about the entire situation. My prayer didn’t need to hinge upon inconveniencing everyone else on my flight, by asking to delay it (which I couldn’t really believe that God, who is Love, would do). My prayer could be one of asking to see the light of harmony, a sense of heaven, right here and right now. I knew this sense of heaven would also embrace everyone there. All thought of blaming myself for this mess vanished, and I certainly didn’t blame anyone else. It was like waking up again: I became so filled with gratitude for the good work the security officers were doing, for the pilots and cabin crew who spend all day serving others, and for the folks around me who were quietly waiting their turn. I realized that the joy of the past weekend wasn’t a momentary flash in the darkness; it was a beautiful expression of the good which is always present. I didn’t even have to demand to see harmony – I could simply trust and love the presence of heaven!
In my study of Christian Science, I’ve learned that heaven isn’t a physical locale up in the sky for future use only; it’s actually a present reality which we can never be kept from knowing and living. Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, defines heaven in part as this: “Harmony; the reign of Spirit; government by divine Principle…” (page 587 of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures). That government by Principle (in this context, a synonym for God) isn’t dependent on circumstance, and isn’t derailed by someone forgetting to print a boarding pass (or any other mistake).
Well, this fresh, healing sense of heaven just filled me up completely and didn’t leave room for any doubt, fear, or even any predictions about what would happen with my timing. Meanwhile, I was through security (which was supposed to be a 15 minute wait, when I only had 10 minutes to catch my flight) and at the gate with 1 minute to spare. The plane took off on schedule and even arrived a little early! That was certainly a happy event, but what I was really grateful for was this deeper understanding of prayer. I learned that I didn’t need to focus my prayer on getting some specific thing, but that I could allow myself to drop blame and any other reasons that harmony couldn’t be present and simply love the presence of heaven, here and now. Not an exclusive heaven, open for some but not others, and not a time-based heaven, where I have to go through time and eventually die before reaching it. No, heaven is here and nothing can keep me, or anyone, from seeing it!
Allow yourself to drop regret, blame, or apathy, and dive into this great day! This is a great day to see heaven.