Most people whose livelihood depends upon regular employment want to get ahead, to do better, to go higher. How can this be accomplished? What can we do to progress? We can turn to God, and seek to do His will. Because God is infinite and all-knowing, He is always at hand to direct us. Seeking His guidance with humility and confidence, we will receive it. The Bible tells us, ''The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.'' n1
n1 Psalms 37:23.
The first and most important step is to gain a clearer understanding of God and His purpose for us. We need to look beyond a limited sense of Deity as a vague presence that may or may not respond to our prayers, and strive to see that God is the one Supreme Being, divinely good, omnipotent, and ever present. He has made man - your true identity - in His image, and He maintains man at the standpoint of perfection. He controls and directs all in the way of His appointing.
As we become more conscious of this truth, of His presence and our inseparability from Him, we trust Him more; we strive more expectantly to do His will. This growth in understanding also uncovers and eradicates undesirable character traits that hinder advancement. These include envy, jealousy, fear, self-depreciation, which would stop our progress by besieging us with evil thoughts, lying suggestions of the carnal mind. But because such thoughts have no divine source, they are actually unreal and powerless. So we can dispose of them, vigorously denying their claim to validity.
It is highly important, of course, that we not only correct faults but cultivate those characteristics that are essential to progress, such as ability. Realizing that man is the very reflection of God, of unlimited divine Mind, we will demonstrate the ability to do whatever it is right for us to do under God's impulsion.
Another important quality is patience. If we are truly trusting God and are sure of His guidance, we will overcome impatience with the understanding that divine Mind's government is unerringly wise and that God's will cannot be interfered with or delayed.
Other attributes we need to diligently nurture include unselfishness, thoughtfulness, justice in dealing with others, compassion, steadfastness in holding to what is morally right. Another is humility. Christ Jesus said, ''Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.'' n2
n2 Matthew 5:5.
We must refuse to harbor discouraging thoughts if every step does not unfold as we think it should. One time, as an engineer, I was employed by a large company in one of its plants. I was in line to be promoted to the position of assistant chief engineer at the plant, and anticipated this promotion. But when the position became open, someone else was selected for it. I was to be transferred to a minor staff position, which was not demanding and did not offer promise of promotion. Disappointed, resentful, and angry, I felt like resigning from the company.
Then, as emphasized in Christian Science, I turned my thought to God in prayer. I saw that the disappointment and hurt feelings were only attempts of the carnal mind to take away my faith in God's goodness and unfailing care. I regained conviction that I was under His direction, and saw that my motive was to serve Him in His way. A statement made by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, was heartening: ''Working and praying with true motives, your Father will open the way.'' n3
n3 Science and Health with key to the Scriptures, p. 326.
I felt led to accept the transfer, determined to do my best and await whatever steps God's wisdom would reveal.
Just thirty days later I was offered the position of chief engineer in a new plant the company had acquired. This was a far better position than the one I didn't get. I accepted it and continued my career for a number of happy and progressive years, until I resigned to devote my time to even more rewarding work.
Trusting God and expressing His qualities, we can be sure our progress will be under His guidance and in accordance with His will. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own under- standing. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5, 6