SOME of the most humbling memories of my college years are of several papers I wrote in haste. My professors' comments were simple: the papers had good ideas, but no focus. This was the natural result of my not putting in the thought and time needed. A slapdash approach to living isn't productive. Even though we're torn between the demands of jobs, homes, children, and other responsibilities, however, trying to do everything doesn't always get us where we want to be.
The pace of modern life may be a phenomenon unparalleled in human history. Yet the Bible, that rich storehouse of solutions to all of humanity's problems, makes clear the value of God-ordered thinking. In the Gospels we find the supreme example of spiritual living in the career of the Saviour, Christ Jesus. And Jesus expected Christians, his followers, to put obedience to God, divine Spirit, at the center of their lives. In the Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew's Gospel, Christ Jesus commands, ``Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth,'' urging instead, ``Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.'' And he points out, ``For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light'' (6:19-22).
Such spiritual singleness of purpose in obedience to God's direction is what we need to bring order and purpose into our daily lives. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, put God first in all she did. In her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she writes, ``One's aim, a point beyond faith, should be to find the footsteps of Truth, the way to health and holiness'' (p. 241). When obedience to God motivates our thoughts and activities, everything else falls into place. A spiritual focus is not simply a desirable future attainment; it is imperative now. And it's possible now.
I saw how practical this is several years ago, after the birth of our third child. I had hoped to be a full-time mother, but financially this did not seem possible. So I began to look for a job, without success. I felt a great need for God's guidance. However, when I prayed, the message that came to me was to stop my increasingly anxious looking. I didn't listen to it, though, since I interpreted that as giving up, and that didn't seem like the responsible thing to do.
Eventually, however, I realized that I needed a better understanding of God's presence and power far more than I needed the funds or employment that seemed lacking. I finally admitted that God, divine Love, is a sure source, well able to supply our family's needs. I spent more time studying the Bible and Mrs. Eddy's writings, and began to pray more earnestly. As God, rather than the job search, became prominent in my life, my frustration began to melt away. And I soon felt great peace. And I dropped all of my ineffective job-hunting efforts.
Within a few days, I received a telephone call from a previous employer, asking if I was available for temporary part-time employment. The first day back, the job openings list caught my eye. A position I had always wanted was available. I applied, and was offered the job a short time later.
Life's challenges are opportunities that turn us Godward, leading us to spiritual growth and progress. As Mrs. Eddy writes on the first page of Science and Health, ``Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds'' (p. 1). Let God mold and exalt your life. You may be surprised at the results, but you won't be disappointed!