Our Careers: God Guides We Decide
IN her book Unity of Good, Mary Baker Eddy, speaking of God's allness, writes, ``Now this self-same God is our helper. He pities us. He has mercy upon us, and guides every event of our careers'' (pp. 3-4). As comforting as it may be to think of God guiding every event, what happens if we choose not to follow God's guidance? Can we decide to take a different direction?
We couldn't, in fact, ever succeed in ignoring our creator, God, who made us in His own image. Because God is divine Spirit, we, as His likeness, must be spiritual. Mrs. Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, points out the fallacy of believing in material personality, our own or others'. In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she explains: ``Mortals are egotists. They believe themselves to be inde-pendent workers, personal authors, and even privileged originators of something which Deity would not or could not create'' (p. 263).
Once we have learned the bliss of listening for God's guidance, and the humility of setting aside personal will, however, we can reject anything that would trick us into playing the role of mortals. The fact is that we are not mortal, because God created all in His image and likeness. There is nothing mortal about God, who is divine Life.
To know who we really are--God's expression--is essential to launching our successful careers. We are what God created us to be. It was at the beginning of Christ Jesus' lifework, Matthew's Gospel tells us, that a voice from heaven said, ``This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased'' (3:17). To know one's true self as God's beloved child is not something we must work up to; we are God's spiritual creation right now. But we do need to accept this fact and let go of what Paul calls ``the old man.'' This old, outgrown concept of ourselves carries a lot of excess baggage. It is never too late to drop this baggage, first by claiming our heritage as children of God, and then by recognizing why He has created us and what His unique plan is for each of us.
The Bible gives us plenty of help. In Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, found in the book of Matthew, we find the moral and spiritual requirements for exemplifying the character of the perfect man--our spiritual selfhood. They include an openness to learning and growth, a willingness to be comforted, meekness, purity, honesty, mercifulness, the ability to make peace with one another, and so forth. Practicing these precepts in our daily lives enables us to be rid of nagging self-doubt, self-condemnation, and fear. And we can embark on our careers daily with the sweet knowledge of God's father-motherhood to us as well as to Jesus.
Perhaps you're feeling, ``I can accept myself as I am with all my shortcomings. I just want to have satisfying work. Call it a job even. I'll settle for a lot less than a `career.''' But isn't this missing the point? We all will sooner or later decide in favor of following the truth of all being. It's inevitable. The Bible tells us in Philippians, ``It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure'' (2:13). God does not let us settle for less than what He has planned for us. God is, even now, working in us ``to will and to do'' that which is pleasurable and good both to Him and to us, His creation.
Awakening to God's guidance, every moment of every day, is a career in itself. This growing understanding of God has practical effects in our daily lives and work. It makes us alert to opportunity, enables us to recognize and occupy our special niche and to enjoy the spiritual fruits of honest labor. These fruits of wisdom, grace, good humor, service, give us satisfaction because they are the riches we enjoy with spiritual progress, not the flimsy rewards we may have once envisioned as worldly success. They bring with them also the gifts of sufficiency and joy that no amount of money can.
Yes, God does guide us in our careers and we can decide--to listen to His commands and to follow Him and to be pleased!