FOR some time, the news media have given significant coverage to the impact of downsizing-the reduction in employees by companies and the increased demands on workers who remain on staff. A friend of mine experienced something of this and learned that prayer can make an enormous difference.
At the time, her job already involved unpaid overtime, but when a co-worker went to part-time status, she was given the other half of his work. The first few weeks, she felt totally overwhelmed. The new tasks were so different from her other work that it seemed she would never adjust. Then one day a dear friend told her that he admired her because she always did her work with love!
This startled her because at the time, she was feeling anything but loving about her work. But it also woke her up to the fact that prayer would help her. As she began to pray, she recalled that Christ Jesus, who was pursued by multitudes of people seeking healing, did not seem overwhelmed by his ministry. She saw that he was able to do great and wonderful things because of his love for God and for the people around him.
She knew, too, that Jesus' example was meant to inspire anyone who wanted to follow in his footsteps. As Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians, ''I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me'' (4:13). This power of God, or Christ, that my friend turned to for help is available to all of us. Christ shows us who we truly are-the sons and daughters of God. This frees us from the burden of believing that we are limited material beings. When we accept this spiritual fact as the truth of our being, significant changes occur in our lives.
Mary Baker Eddy makes this plain in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. As the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, she knew what it was like to take on more and more duties. In the Preface to her book she tells of teaching Christian Science to over four thousand students during a seven-year period while also serving as Pastor of her Church, publishing her own books and, during part of the time, editing and publishing a monthly magazine.
Elsewhere in Science and Health she speaks of the influence of Christian Science, writing: ''The human mind, imbued with this spiritual understanding, becomes more elastic, is capable of greater endurance, escapes somewhat from itself, and requires less repose. A knowledge of the Science of being develops the latent abilities and possibilities of man'' (p. 128).
Understanding that we can turn to God for guidance during our workday enables us to feel less alone and to gain greater satisfaction. As we obtain inspired ideas through prayer, we are able to work more efficiently and wisely. With growing confidence, we can dismiss fear and frustration because we know that God supplies the answers we need.
That's what happened to my friend. She took these points to heart and made an active effort to love every aspect of her work. Within a short time she found that the new assignment was taking up only a small part of her week and was not adding at all to the number of hours she was putting in.
This occurred as she turned directly to God for inspired ideas about her work. The love she was cherishing was a spiritual desire to express the intelligence and joy of God in all that she did. As she became better at doing this, the feelings of pressure greatly diminished.
Each of us may face a different work situation, but we can let love for God and man transform that experience. In every case we can turn to God, who is infinite Mind, limitless intelligence, for guidance. And as we listen for His direction, keeping our hearts filled with love for our work, we will find new satisfaction and joy.
Jesus withdrew himself
with his disciples to the sea . . . .
For he had healed many;
they pressed upon him
for to touch him.
Mark 3:7, 10