Working in an office with shared desks and not much space, I found the lack of privacy very difficult.
But even more difficult was the feeling that my mental space was constantly invaded, preventing me from concentrating on the work. One co-worker seemed to need my involvement in whatever he did. His interruptions became really annoying.
I began praying about it. For me, this meant turning to the inspirations of the Bible. I began with the first chapter of the book of Genesis, which I have always found to be a good starting point for praying. This short chapter bases all understanding, logical reasoning, and conclusions as to what is the truth on a simple foundation: God is the only creator. God is good. God's creation is reality. No one we meet in life, then, can really be anything other than the "image" and "likeness" of God.
On the subject of space, God must fill all of it, because He is omnipresent. And God is good, so all space must be filled with harmony.
Each day, we see much that doesn't square with these spiritual facts. We confront the counterfeit of God: for example, confusion, disharmony, conflict, and anger. During my prayer, I thought of an atom. Someone might look at an atom as a confusion of whirling material particles, pure disorganization. But scientific study and understanding have revealed an order in that apparent chaos.
With this thought, I sensed the impossibility that conflict could exist anywhere that God is present - and God is always present. I needed to understand what the eyes don't always see: that we are each the reflection, the image, of God, and that we cannot be in conflict.
God's gifts to us are good qualities that we can express to others. St. Paul said: "There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all" (I Cor. 12:4-6).
Mary Baker Eddy wrote a study guide for understanding the Bible, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." It says, "Spirit diversifies, classifies, and individualizes all thoughts, which are as eternal as the Mind conceiving them; but the intelligence, existence, and continuity of all individuality remain in God, who is the divinely creative Principle thereof" (pg. 513). God has created each of us to function harmoniously within this creation.
When I began to see all space as filled with ideas, qualities, of God, I began to understand and appreciate the specific spiritual qualities that my co-worker expressed: he was good, kind, able, and responsible; he wanted to do a good job. I saw that rather than having conflicting personalities, we actually had cultural diversities that were both interesting and complementary.
Seeing how he expressed God, I found my focus on his personal limitations (which he himself initially claimed to have) dissolving. And my feeling of not having enough space at work dissolved, too. So did my self-righteous attitude. There was now space in which we could work closely and cooperatively - with much happiness and humor. He said that some of
the limitations he'd found in his ability to do paperwork had also dissolved. He began to enjoy doing his work with pride, independence, and confidence.
More good ideas began presenting themselves - practical solutions on how to handle customers. My co-worker accepted them. The entire work flow became smoother and more professional overall. We quickly became good friends.
Interestingly enough, when this company closed and I moved to another company, I was able to recommend this man for an opening there. He was hired to work in a separate department, where he was confident and highly skilled - one of the top performers.
When we're looking for more space, a happier home, steadier income, or more satisfying employment, we're really looking for some spiritual quality to become more evident to us. We need to understand God better. Daily life improves with our improved understanding.
Articles like this one appear in 13 different languages in the magazine The Herald of Christian Science.
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