YOU don't have to be out of a job to be looking for work. In fact, many who are officially listed as employed complain about being under-employed in their present jobs. And many who are out of a job feel they can't find work that employs their full range of abilities. They may echo the frustration of the Preacher in the book of Ecclesiastes when he cried, ''What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?''n1
n1 Ecclesiastes 1:3
The genuine answer to employment challenges doesn't lie in some clever technique that would irresistibly persuade someone to employ us properly. Rather , we have to do some employing ourselves. One of the meanings of the word ''employ'' is ''to make use of.'' But if we think our human talents and skills are all we've got to make use of, we might look deeper into what Christian Science shows of man.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ''Man is spiritual and perfect . . . .'' And further along she describes man as ''that which possesses no life, intelligence, nor creative power of his own, but reflects spiritually all that belongs to his Maker.'' n2
n2 Science and Health with key to the scriptures, P. 475
In this spiritual view, man is the totally harmonious manifestation of God. He is not fallen or imperfect or becoming perfect but is right now the complete, satisfied, active reflection of the divine Mind, expressing every quality of God's nature. Our actual being is always occupied with expressing intelligence, wisdom, love - every godly attribute. But this isn't just an abstract nicety. It's an unchanging, tangible reality, which can be applied practically, employed in any situation.
For instance, because God is Truth, as the Bible implies, it's natural for us to be undeceived by illusion and dishonesty, to be confident, sincere, convincing. Because He is Love, and man the image of Love, we can fearlessly approach any situation as a peacemaker, even a healer. To express God's nature is to experience the support and care of our creator in every aspect of our lives, including the need for appropriate work.
Through prayer and through expressing more of the purity and love of God's being, we grow in the understanding of our true nature as God's effect, and we let go of any willfulness in relation to our activities. We're able to let our calm trust in God and in the order and harmony of His spiritual universe replace any tendency toward anxious striving to make things come out in a certain humanly prescribed way.
Letting go of a personal design - no matter how noble or well-thought-out it seems - in favor of being willing to listen for and follow God's will, opens the gateway to a new realm of useful possibilities, as a friend of mine discovered. She had always wanted to start her own business. It was to be based on high ideals that would transcend what she felt were the failings common in the conventional formats for this type of activity. The rightness of the objective seemed to her to be motivation enough, and even a guarantee of its fulfillment. But after two years of fruitless struggling, she humbly turned to God and committed herself to serving only Him, even if it meant taking a job in a field totally unrelated to the project she felt so strongly about.
Soon after, she was offered a position that she had always considered beneath her. But being true to her commitment and continuing to trust in God's ability to care for all her needs, she accepted the offer and quickly discovered in herself an unexpected palette of abilities. She has since progressed rapidly within the organization, finding ever more useful, satisfying applications for her constantly unfolding strengths.
Like my friend, like all who obey Christ Jesus' command ''Seek ye first the kingdom of God,'' n3 you can satisfy your deep longing to be truly useful by gratefully making use of your natural ability to know, love, and express God. Instead of just looking for an employer, be one! n3 Matthew 6:33
DAILY BIBLE VERSE Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thin own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, an he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5, 6