ALL of us want what we are doing to be meaningful, but so often our work seems frustrating or unappreciated. Over the years I looked to my work to give meaning and worth to my life. But I found that while I would seem to achieve satisfaction for a time, I would then get to feeling I was in a rut, and restlessness and dissatisfaction would predominate. Trying to stir myself into some semblance of enthusiasm for the job by reminding myself that what I was doing was important or trying to find ways to make the activity more interesting did not diminish my restlessness. Finally in desperation I thought, ``You've tried everything else; why not try prayer?
Since I'd always found that prayer brought answers in other areas of my life, I was a little surprised it had taken me so long to decide to pray. I began by looking at how Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, answers the question ``What is Life? in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She begins by pointing out, ``Life is divine Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit. And later in the answer she states, ``Life is not limited. This helped me to see that I couldn't feel stifle d or frustrated by a limited view of either myself or my job.
Effective prayer is an affirmation that God--who is Spirit, Principle, Mind, Soul--is omnipresent, and that man is the expression of God.
This leads to the conclusion that because there is only one God, and His creation is wholly good, then restlessness, uncertainty, anxiety, discouragement, envy and the like, which are not good, have no part in His spiritual creation, man.
Praying along these lines increased my confidence that good, and only good, comes from God. It stands to reason, then, that an improved understanding of the nature and relationship of God and man results in a more satisfactory experience. I began to see a little better what Christ Jesus meant when he said, ``The kingdom of God is within you. A calm certainty that the solution to every problem is found by turning to God began to replace the stress and strain I had been feeling.
This wasn't an instant change, but gradually I found that looking with anticipation for the unfoldment of spiritual concepts carries with it a lively expectancy that we will see evidence of God's goodness. To maintain that all-important expectancy, and the good that follows, daily prayer is indispensable. Progress is a divine law. When a particular set of material circumstances seems to be bringing satisfaction, there is the temptation to resist change.
My prayer helped me to see that it is no more advantageous to resist change than it is to desire change for change's sake. Whether my work changed or remained the same, I began to realize, the vague feelings of dissatisfaction could serve as warnings that I needed to do a better job of basing my actions on prayer. The growing comprehension that Spirit, divine Principle, is always present, always ready to act on our behalf, brings the hope and confidence that result in freedom of action.
Change as the result of prayer is always the outward evidence that we are advancing in the understanding of the Science of being. In Science and Health Mrs. Eddy brings out an important point: ``Prayer cannot change the Science of being, but it tends to bring us into harmony with it.
I found plenty of rewarding and useful activities that I continue to enjoy. But I've come to see something even more important: What more meaningful activity, what more satisfactory occupation, what greater achievement can there be than to be in harmony with the Science of being? And it's prayer, based on gratitude to God, that helps us each step of the way.