The Practitioner Corner: My Plan or God’s Plan? 

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By Christine Nacewicz, CS

How many times have we been in a situation where we seem to be at a crossroads and are unsure of what direction to take? Or perhaps at one point we felt we had all the right answers and the perfect plan, only to find that nothing seemed to go our way or according to that plan. 

The Christian Science Pastor – the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy – as well as the Christian Science Hymnal offer so many prayers of comfort, clarity and uplift on this very topic. One line from hymn 169 reads, “Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see the distant scene; one step enough for me.” How calming and uplifting is that one simple prayer! It’s a sweet little reminder that we don’t need to know, right at that moment, all of the details and steps of what is to come in our experience. We wouldn’t be able to take all of the steps in that moment anyway!

 

Christine Nacewicz with a teen from the DiscoveryBound National Leadership Council class she supports

 

Trusting in God while traveling
I have been serving for the past few years as the Christian Science practitioner with one of the DiscoveryBound National Leadership Council (NLC) classes. Our most recent trip was the service trip, which usually takes place in an international setting. The class decided to go to Costa Rica, and we had been partnering with a local service provider to help with many of the on-the-ground logistics. 

By the time we arrived in Costa Rica, we had the entire trip planned, all of the details worked out and our travel service provider had confirmed that they were all set to go. One day on the second half of the trip, the class set out first thing in the morning with the activities for the day mapped out. Very quickly, all of those plans for the morning seemed to go out the window. Our direct transportation did not show up, and the host from the travel company we were using was not anywhere nearby to help organize new transportation. We didn’t have cash for public transportation and banks weren’t going to open for another hour or two. We also weren’t exactly sure how to get to where we needed to go on our own. 

As I was the practitioner on the trip, I hadn’t been as involved with planning the details, so the temptation to think my plan was falling apart just wasn’t present. It was so clear to me that each of these details that seemed to go wrong was just an aggressive mental suggestion trying to prevent members of our group from enjoying this amazing trip and the beautiful country. Each time I heard one of the teens or adults talk about how something was going wrong, we talked about how God doesn’t make mistakes. So really something must be going right. Hymn 553 illustrates this point beautifully:

Our desire to heed God’s calling
Lifts us to a new design,
Outlined by pure inspiration,
Rendered in Love’s graceful line. 

When our own plans seem to crumble
Incomplete or ill-defined,
Let us turn to God’s creation,
Always perfectly aligned.

With the model right before us,
Perfect God and perfect man,
Let God’s wholeness reign within us,
Let Mind’s will perfect our plan.

Far beyond the bounds of matter,
Unrestrained by fear or time,
All our plans unfold together
In Soul’s harmony and rhyme.

It turned out that our timing for the morning ended up being perfect. The host of our first volunteer service job of the day was running behind schedule, so we ended up arriving right on time. We also were given an opportunity to do a walking tour of parts of the city that we hadn’t initially had time for. More importantly, the morning offered a beautiful opportunity for each individual on the trip to let go of what we thought should happen, and rather embrace what God intended to happen. It was an amazing experience and ended up being one of the most impactful days of service work we had the entire trip. 

Jesus teaches that “your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:8). Our work then becomes to see and acknowledge divine Mind in action, unfolding every moment to us as we need it. This requires us to keep watch of our thought so it’s not mesmerized into thinking there are many minds planning and strategizing about what should happen and when it should happen. When we allow our thought to be mesmerized into thinking there are many minds at work, this sometimes results in a sense of pressure that it all has to work and come together just so. If our Father already knows our need and place, then our need and desire is rather to align with His will instead of our own.

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