There is one business we all have in common. We are all housekeepers.
Before you stop reading, let me explain. No matter where you live, you are keeping up, or not keeping up, the house you "live in" every moment-your consciousness.
If your thoughts were laid bare to everyone, would you be proud to show off your house? It's helpful to look at your thinking objectively now and then and try to improve this mental home, rather than just live there and not bother to clean up the messes.
This business requires a certain level of decency, morality, orderliness. It also requires that we express qualities such as love, compassion, and wisdom, and that we clear their opposites out of our thoughts. This obviously is not work one can delegate to another. It requires full attention. We neglect it at our own expense.
There is one whom we can seek to emulate. That is Christ Jesus. At an early age, he made something clear to others, saying, ". . . I must be about my Father's business . . ." (Luke 2:49). He sought at all times to know the will of his Father, God. Jesus referred to God not only as his Father but as ours. He taught that we all are God's children, no matter how far we may be from that realization. And he taught that no one can ever sin so badly or stray so far that he or she is lost from God. Knowing God as our Father and seeking to know and do His will are giant steps for us.
Anyone can be about God's business. The woman who founded The Christian Science Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy, knew the value of being about this business. Along these lines she once wrote: "Cherish humility, 'watch,' and 'pray without ceasing,' or you will miss the way of Truth and Love. Humility is no busybody: it has no moments for trafficking in other people's business, no place for envy, no time for idle words, vain amusements, and all the et cetera of the ways and means of personal sense" (Miscellaneous Writings, pp. 356-357).
Following this advice would help anyone. The bottom line is that our business in this life is fundamentally to reflect God. This begins in the privacy of our own thoughts. Striving to have more humility is a very good place to start. We could begin monitoring our thoughts, dealing with them according to their worth. Good thoughts, which are of God, get dusted off. Bad ones, being worthless, get thrown out of consciousness. If a given thought is worthy of expression, it's of use in being about the Father's business.
I am not the judge of my neighbor; God is. Instead of taking pleasure or making profit in gossiping about my neighbor, I do well to think of him or her as God does-as His spiritual idea. Jesus' great mission lay in showing who we are in the sight of God. Jesus saw what his Father's will was for him and then how he could reveal God's will to others. Healing and salvation followed.
The four Gospels in the Bible show a great deal about what this business meant to Jesus. He described in the Beatitudes qualities one should express to please God (see Matthew 5:3-12). These illustrate that good behavior toward God and our neighbor establishes the kingdom of heaven-and peace-on earth. The more people express these qualities, the better the world is.
The love of God that Jesus expressed helped people sweep out thoughts that produced disease, sin, sadness, limitation, and even death. He showed these thoughts to be lies about the way God makes us. Jesus could not have swept away sin, disease, and death if they were God-created conditions.
So often we identify ourselves by the work we do on the outside. But we can best improve that work, as well as all else in our lives, by tending first of all to the work we all have to do in consciousness. Going about this business, we'll find and enjoy health, happiness, and accomplishment.
A good man out of the good
treasure of the heart bringeth
forth good things: and an evil
man out of the evil treasure
bringeth forth evil things.