Faithful in the Small Tasks

ECONOMIC adjustments, recession, and just plain personal challenges may seem especially challenging today as we look for employment that really makes the best use of our individual talents. If we haven't yet found what's needed, perhaps there is a lesson to be learned about what to put first. I had much to learn when I seemed locked into an endless round of low-paying, unfulfilling jobs. As a student of Christian Science, I was striving for daily spiritual growth. Prayerful study of the Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, had given me a strong conviction that the perfection of man and the universe reflects the perfection of God, their creator. I was learning to apply this new understanding in healing ways to the physical, emotional, and financial problems that faced our family. And I was seeing more evidence each day that this clearer understanding of God was powerful.

I wanted to use what I was learning about prayer to make a contribution to the world. The problem was, I couldn't see how I would ever get out of my mundane jobs and into a position to contribute more. But I prayed for God to show me what I needed to do. One day, as I prayed, I remembered a phrase from the Bible: ``faithful over a few things...ruler over many.''

The words are from a parable that Christ Jesus told his followers. The parable, as Matthew records it, concerns a man who entrusts sums of money -- called talents -- to his servants in his absence. When the man returns he finds that the servant he gave five talents to has used them to make five more. Likewise, the servant to whom he gave two talents has also doubled his money. The man was pleased and told each of them: ``Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few thing s, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.''

I began to see that I had been so busy trying to be ``ruler over many things'' -- to do something ``important'' -- that I hadn't been faithful in fulfilling the few responsibilities I had been given. As a result, I began to face each day's work as an opportunity to express more of what I had been learning about God's goodness and allness.

Change didn't come instantly, but I persevered in being willing to do faithfully the ``few things'' I was given to do. Within two years I found myself moving into a very responsible job that seemed tailor-made for my talents and abilities. It was the kind of job I had been hoping for all along.

We certainly don't ``use'' God to obtain a position or success. But when we allow Him to use us to express His perfection, we find that each of us has his or her own unique work to do. Mrs. Eddy puts it this way in Retrospection and Introspection, ``Each individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity.''

The willingness to be faithful to our tasks, whatever they are, will show us that God's qualities of perfect love, joy, intelligence, and peace can be experienced no matter where we are or what our human activities may be. And when we are faithful to expressing God's goodness in our lives, the divine law always operates to fit us for additional responsibilities. And when the responsibilities come from God, we can be assured of the capacity to fulfill them. In this way we benefit an ever-widening circle of people.

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