Graduation and the best advice
A Christian Science perspective: Where does the best graduation advice come from?
Graduation season is upon us. It is always interesting to read the inspiration shared about success and the sage advice given by accomplished, noted speakers. Yet, I was talking to a recent graduate who commented that it is difficult to know just what to do with all of the recommendations about decision-making – especially when some of the advice seems contradictory.
I agreed with my friend that it can be tricky to navigate these varying opinions, but said that if you get very still and listen for God’s guidance, you will be led in a unique direction that makes perfect sense for you. God is divine Love, who is forever telling us, “This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21).
From this and other biblical directives about looking to God when making decisions, Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, wrote: “God is All-in-all.... He is all the Life and Mind there is or can be.... Now this self-same God is our helper. He pities us. He has mercy upon us, and guides every event of our careers” (“Unity of Good,” pp. 3-4).
These truths have brought me great comfort several times when I felt as if I was at a crossroads. After I tried to silence my ego and pride that wanted to keep comparing myself to others, and when I stopped worrying about others’ opinions, then I was ready simply to ask God, my loving Father, to help me understand Him as divine Mind – the only Mind – and my mind. Divine Mind has created me and has a vision for me, and He is always unfolding His purpose for me. Because I am the offspring of Mind, God’s spiritual idea, I cannot be separate from His perfect wisdom and His impeccable direction. I can never be overwhelmed, confused, fearful, or indecisive.
It truly is amazing. Whenever I’ve been able to pray with this kind of spiritual reasoning and quiet listening, there has always followed a peace, and an inner voice that has clarity about what next steps to take.
But what about the fear of making a mistake? Like other fears, it disappears with understanding. As we learn the divine Science underlying our being as Mind’s idea, we understand that we are at one with His guiding thoughts and are never working independently of Him. The Bible states, “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:6). Our job is to acknowledge God’s presence and power, His absolute allness, His goodness, and His control. We can do that and then trust Him to do His job – which is to direct our paths.
And we don’t need to be afraid of a course alteration. There were many in the Bible who, through prayer, were led to take a different path from what they had originally planned. For example, Paul turned from persecuting Christians to embracing Christianity, and Abraham was stopped from sacrificing his son. The important thing is to keep listening. Instead of getting a sense of what we are to do and willfully plowing ahead, we need to take a step and listen – take a step and listen.
As graduation opens the doors to a wide world of choices, the job market doesn’t need to feel like a tangled wilderness and we don’t need to feel that we are without identity or direction. There is very good news. Mrs. Eddy writes in her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”: “Spirit names and blesses all. Without natures particularly defined, objects and subjects would be obscure, and creation would be full of nameless offspring, – wanderers from the parent Mind, strangers in a tangled wilderness” (p. 507).
God, infinite Spirit, has defined each of us. Our place, purpose, relationships all have perfect definition outlined by divine, intelligent Mind, who, as our Father and Mother, is shepherding and guiding us. Turning our ear in prayer to hear the guiding intuitions from divine Love secures our safety and happiness. No doubt, God’s advice is the best advice.