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Career guidance

In this age of specialization, career guidance has assumed great importance, and experts in it specialize in advising people how to find the work that is most suited to their particular qualifications. But there's a deeper aspect of career guidance that isn't always fully appreciated. However good and however specialized one's qualifications may be, they clearly aren't enough to ensure success and fulfillment. They need to be supported by such God-derived qualities as intelligence, initiative, energy, compassion, honesty. Sometimes it works the other way around -- our expression of qualities like these prompts us to acquire the appropriate qualifications. Christ Jesus spoke of his work as his ``Father's business.'' And the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians: ``Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.'' 1

The New English Bible gives this translation of part of this passage: ``There are many forms of work, but all of them, in all men, are the work of the same God. In each of us the Spirit is manifested in one particular way, for some useful purpose.'' And this spiritual foundation for career guidance has never changed.

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One young man learned something of this when he returned to civilian life after a period of Army service and had to find a new career at a time of high unemployment. He also had a young family to support. Both he and his wife were students of Christian Science, and they were confident that he could find a way of putting his very considerable energy into useful work that would have some element of service in it. So they prayed to be shown how best to do this.

A series of short-term projects followed, through which ideas for the future began to take shape. Finally he was offered the agency for a promising new machine that was about to be put on the market. He accepted eagerly and launched into a business of his own -- something that had seemed quite out of reach. It quickly became established and expanded to provide for all the family's needs. It also utilized to the full all his qualities and qualifications.

Couldn't this have happened to anyone? Yes. But it should be happening more often to people all over the world. There are no unemployment areas -- high or low -- in God's universe, and no redundant individuals. Each one has his own purpose to fulfill as God's representative, and each one is needed, indeed precious. This sense of spiritual distinctness brings confidence and expectancy in the choice of careers.

After discussing the allness of the one God, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, continues: ``Now this self-same God is our helper. He pities us. He has mercy upon us, and guides every event of our careers.'' 2

Does this mean that God intervenes in all the small details of our human experience and supervises them? No. It doesn't happen quite like that, because God isn't a supermortal. God is Spirit, infinitely wise divine Mind, always governing His creation harmoniously through spiritual law. And man is God's likeness, not a mortal governed by circumstances. Appealing to divine wisdom and direction through prayer enables us to do the wisest, most effective thing. It enables us to feel divine care and let go the mistaken sense of ourselves as mortals, separate from our creator, left to our own devices.

Our basic activity never changes. It's always to reflect the qualities of God. The fabric of this work is thought -- intelligent, loving thought derived from the one Mind. This same Mind, through divine law, provides the opportunities we need, which take shape in useful, satisfying careers. 1 I Corinthians 12:4-7. 2 Unity of Good, pp. 3-4.

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