MANY years ago, when confronted with the need to choose a career, I became overwhelmed with the conflicting advice of counselors, friends, and prospective employers. It seemed as though I was either too young, too old, too experienced, or too inexperienced for positions offered in a variety of fields. I wondered if I would ever find a niche of my own and be self-supporting.
One day, when the situation looked particularly bleak, I turned to God in prayer for an answer. It suddenly occurred to me that, spiritually speaking, we all have the same occupation - being man, the image and likeness of God. I saw that although we are individual expressions of God's nature, we all exist to manifest Him, and each of us is fully employed by the Father at all times. When I glimpsed the spiritual fact that man's life purpose - to glorify God - is forever established, all sense of pressure and confusion lifted. I knew the Father would show me where I was needed and how I could truly grow and progress in life.
Christ Jesus' words ''Thy will be done,'' n1 from the Lord's Prayer, were of great comfort at the time. The thought behind the words - the understanding and acknowledgment of God's supreme and perfect control of all - has continued to be of help through the years. Study of the Bible has shown me that God's will is always good and that we can, indeed, trust Him to care for every need.
As I began to get to know myself better spiritually and to turn to God more for insight and direction, doubt, fear, and discouragement ceased to plague me. I also saw that my motive in seeking work had changed. No longer was I thinking purely in terms of finding a job to earn a living. I had begun thinking more of what I could give rather than what I could get from a particular job or organization. I had a deep desire to be of service to God and to my fellowman.
This prayer-derived desire has enriched my life tremendously. Through the years it has brought me into a number of challenging and productive fields. When I have prayed to know where I could do the most good and truly help my fellowman , I have been led to positions that were just right for all concerned, positions that have enabled me to use my talents and to develop new skills that would be of help in years to come. Each activity has paved the way for the next, although at the time I started particular jobs I did not always foresee what would come next.
Whenever it has seemed as though I've reached a dead end, having mastered a job to its fullest and done all I possibly could right where I was, I've recalled these words from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy n2: ''God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis.'' n3
n2 The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.
n3 Science and Healthm,p.258.
In prayer I have claimed man's God-given freedom from stagnation and frustration. I've acknowledged that man, as God's expression, is multifaceted and that it is right, therefore, that all our individual, God-derived abilities be recognized, appreciated, utilized, and developed. Inevitably I've seen new ways in which I could progress right where I was, or I've been guided to apply for a new position that better fulfilled my needs at the time.
When financial compensation has seemed inadequate, I have turned to the Bible for inspiration. I long ago learned that man is not really self-supported; he is God-sustained. Two verses, in particular, have been of help both while I have been self-employed and working for others. They have opened my thought to the good that is always at hand right where we are. These words of Boaz to Ruth contain a wonderful promise that has been borne out in my life: ''The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.'' n4 And I can agree wholeheartedly with Paul, who said, ''We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.'' n5 My every need has been amply met through understanding more of divine Love's presence and all-power.
n4 Ruth 2:12
n5 Romans 8:28
Finding a job or choosing a career doesn't have to be a struggle. The spiritual fact is that there is a need and right place for every one of God's children. Not one of us, in reality, is redundant or in competition with another. Each one has an individual contribution of value to make. So, as we turn to God, divine Mind, for guidance, we can be led to the right activity and find our work becoming meaningful, blessing ourselves and others. Daily Bible Verse It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13