Something I learned years before while walking a labyrinth saved me from motion sickness in Panama in the summer of 2012.
On our first full day in Panama Sue Smith and I accompanied the Virginia Latino Network Mission Team into the Kuna islands off the northeast coast of the Panamanian landmass. As we traveled on the Panamerican Highway, I was in the second seat of a large truck. I felt secure in the vehicle and with the driver but, oh, the ride! Steep ascents, hairpin turns, amazing descents into areas of washed out pavement and sheer drop-offs on both sides. I had never experienced motion sickness before but this was the first of two occasions on this trip when I almost did. I was clutching the arm rest tightly when I realized that if the truck went over the side of the mountain, I was going, too. Holding onto the door was not going to help.
During the next seven days we traveled many times and many miles in this boat but only one of those times did I feel a possible motion sickness coming on. I reverted to the focused breathing and then said the Jesus Prayer for everyone at work, my Sunday School class and my family. I’ve used this technique during several MRIs and dental visits but none of those experiences lasted as long as that boat trip.
When people say “prayer works,” curing motion sickness is probably not what they mean but it is one of the things prayer has come to mean to me.