Employed By Our Father
I RECENTLY attended a meeting of business and professional people on the topic of individual development. One participant gave a talk on the plight of the jobless in our area. She cited statistics showing that our county's unemployment rate is 50 percent higher than the state average. Unemployment can be challenging from a variety of standpoints. It represents a lack of purposeful activity as well as of adequate finances.In turning to the Bible for some guidance on how my prayers could support people without work in my own community, I came across this passage from II Corinthians in which St. Paul is speaking of giving in accord with what we have: "I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: as it is written, He that had gathered much had no thing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack. Not only, then, can the abundance of others supply our individual want, but our own talents and abilities can be a supply for their need as well, "that there may be equality. I also turned to the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science. I was heartened by this statement in Retrospection and Introspection: "Each individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity. The divine plan would not be complete without each of God's offspring being rightly active in expressing His qualities. Just as Christ Jesus, even at the age of twelve, knew that he must be about his Father's business, so all of us have something to contribute as workers together in fulfilling the Father's loving purpose. As the Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians, when speaking of each one working out his own salvation, "It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Each of us, through prayer, can be inspired and directed by the Father to appropriate activity. This isn't really a matter of chance but of divine law, because man isn't, in truth, separate from God, subject to circumstances; everyone's true being is the very image of God, His spiritual likeness, indispensable to the completeness of God's creation. God doesn't give us a right desire to be useful and then fail to bring this desire to fruition. Rather He works in us, not just to envision, but also to realize and accomplish, the fulfillment of our own individual purpose. An unselfish desire to be of service to others is blessed by God and carries with it all that is needed for its successful fruition. But what, then, is our part in perceiving and following the Father's plan for us? As we pray to the one divine Mind and listen for the "still small voice of divine guidance, we'll come to see what steps to take in filling our niche in best utilizing our special talents and skills--even expanding our horizons and our capabilities. We'll be able to prove something of divine law, always in operation to forward our progress and to bring to light what we need to know. We can all begin right now--whatever our employment status might be--to strive to express even more fully God's qualities, such as love, intelligence, order, integrity, purity. This active expression of the divine nature must inevitably be manifested not only in appropriate activity but in a deep feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment. We'll see more clearly than ever what it means to be about our Father's business.