For the third year in a row, I am putting together the Oklahoma Route 66 Association’s annual Trip Guide, which is a free publication that contains maps, directions, and other information to help people plan trips down Route 66 in Oklahoma.
I volunteered to lay out the guide for the first time in 2005, largely because I’d had an intuition that the grant money that had always funded the project might dry up, and the guide would need a major overhaul to make it financially self-sustaining.
At the time, I had no idea where it came from, but a year later, when the state suddenly changed the grant eligibility rules in a way that completely cut us out of the action, I realized my intuition was probably God’s way of whispering a warning in my ear to keep the 66 Association — and its flagship project — out of trouble.
I was pretty disgusted with the state’s decision to yank our grant for reasons that seemed capricious at best and politically motivated at worst, but I realized we had just demonstrated the truth of a line from Science and Health that I find very comforting:
“Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you.”
— Mary Baker Eddy
Although I’m grateful for the sudden insight that told me to take action that protected us from the “human hatred” (or, perhaps more accurately, human thoughtlessness) that cost us our grant, it’s a pretty big project, and I have come to dread the hassles and glitches it often entails.
Still, it doesn’t make sense to think that divine Love — God — would provide us with the way to carry out a project in the face of a financial challenge, but then allow us to fall flat when it’s time to carry out the human actions necessary to avail ourselves of that provision.
With that in mind, I went to bed Monday night thinking, OK, God — just help me to remember that I have access to Your unlimited supplies of energy and intelligence, because I am going to need them when I start working on the Trip Guide tomorrow.
I hadn’t been up for more than a few minutes Tuesday morning when my cell phone rang, and I found myself accepting an invitation to have lunch with a friend I’d originally planned to meet with later in the week.
Over lunch, I grumbled about how exhausted I was, and how much I was dreading this project, and how I’d gotten so busy that sometimes I didn’t even feel like I had the time or energy to pray or study.
After listening to my sob story, my friend — who is very wise — reminded me that it is precisely at those moments when we feel like we don’t have time to pray or study that we most need to put those things at the top of our to-do list rather than the bottom.
If we put God first, he explained, we generally find that we have more time and energy than we realized. The work gets done, and we don’t wear ourselves out or make stupid mistakes in the process.
I put my friend’s good advice to use when I got home. Not surprisingly, I found that after a little “me time” with a copy of the latest Sentinel, I wasn’t at all tempted to rest (as I had been so often in recent days), and the Trip Guide work went very smoothly.
Mrs. Eddy was right: “The consciousness of Truth rests us more than hours of repose in unconsciousness.”
The Trip Guide isn’t finished yet — far from it! — but I’m not worried about it any more. I’ll have all the time and energy I need to get it done.