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Twelve years ago I had a rewarding opportunity...

From the April 1991 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Twelve years ago I had a rewarding opportunity to serve as a chaplain at a men's jail in California. One evening while I was waiting to be escorted up to the chapel, the guard said to me, "Why do you take your time to come here? These men are not worth your time." After praying a moment I answered him, "If you were having a bad dream, a nightmare, wouldn't you be grateful if someone shook you and tried to waken you from that dream?" This conversation reminded me of a "nightmare" experience I had that lasted about eight years.

I have worked in the trucking industry for forty years. My father was in the trucking business, so I grew up in it. I had always wanted to get into specialized hauling, cranes and bulldozers and so forth. When I did get enough experience to get a job in this kind of work, I was surprised to discover what it entailed. We would sometimes work all day and then pull a load to northern California from southern California that night, a good ten-hour drive. Sometimes, this schedule would last all week.

I had quite a time staying awake, and one night I asked a fellow I worked with how he was able to stay awake. He offered me some pills that he took. I declined them, but after fighting sleep night after night I asked him for some. The first one I took kept my eyes open and made me alert. I thought these were the greatest and wondered why I had declined them before. I saw nothing wrong with taking them.

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