NOWADAYS, it seems, employment can never be considered steady in any field at any level. That jobs can end abruptly. That achievement and years of service mean nothing in the new technological workplace.
Initially, reading and hearing the news coverage of these grim conditions shocked me. I was especially concerned for young people hoping to begin their careers. But I am a student of Christian Science, and I knew I could do something more effective than worry! I prayed, renewing my understanding of my-and everyone's-identity as a child of God and my relation to Him.
Almost immediately, I was more aware of the presence that is God, Principle, infinite Love itself. With that awareness was the joyful remembrance that I myself had disproved and am still disproving the very suggestions and beliefs about employment being temporary that are being portrayed as obstacles to young people starting out today. Here's what happened to me.
Years ago, in so-called hard times, I chose to begin a career which supposedly had no security, no regular paycheck, no health insurance-freelance fiction writing. That field then, as now, was extremely limited, competitive, insecure. I was young, inexperienced. I had no other income and my family were in very modest circumstances. I had to start earning my living.
I'd been raised by devoutly religious parents. One day, while I was reading the Bible, an entirely new concept of God began to appear to me. The passage that transfixed me was in Isaiah. ''But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint'' (40:31). I saw that Isaiah had written of God not as a punishing ruler, but as a loving Father who would not punish or abandon His creation. If you depended on Him, he'd give you strength to do what was needed.
After several days of praying to understand these ideas, I made a decision to work at what I wanted to do, at using my talent for writing, even if it had no security. I would wait upon the Lord, depend on His guidance. I worked steadily and diligently, and within a few weeks I was selling my simple stories to magazines and earning enough to support myself. I felt a blessed security in depending completely on God's care that was totally new to me. When a line of magazines I wrote for ceased publishing, I prayed, and was led to new markets for my work.
Within a very few years, I met a young man who was the first Christian Scientist I had ever known. He introduced me to the fact that this loving God, this tender, strong presence I'd found, also heals sickness and all the other problems humanity faces. We were married and continued our study of Christian Science together. I looked upon this religion as a further direct answer to the prayerful adventure I had begun when I had decided to regard God as my employer.
Recalling this joyful history now, I realized more fully than ever that man, the loved child of his creator, is always fully employed in expressing the qualities of divine Being. Christ Jesus was only twelve years old when he asked his worried parents-who had been looking for him for three days after he had become separated from them on a journey to Jerusalem-''How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?'' (Luke 2:49) Young as he was, Jesus knew he was already employed, and always would be, functioning as a full reflection of God, his-and our-Father.
One of the passages that moved me a great deal when I first read Mary Baker Eddy's book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, is her statement ''Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need'' (p. 494). It was almost as if the Discoverer of Christian Science had known my own personal story.
Man's real and only employer is God, and his employment is permanent and eternal. Our needs are met as we more and more deeply understand that our capabilities are as infinite as those of the Being whom we reflect. None of us, understanding this and depending on it, need ever be frightened at the suggestion that employment can ever be temporary or indefinite.