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When I made a big mistake

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

January 29, 2003



Some years ago, I considered a change of employment and had little time to think over my options. I ended up turning down an opportunity that would have provided gainful employment and instead chose an option that put me on shaky financial ground. Though I was happy in my work, I hadn't acted wisely and was concerned about my ability to remain solvent.

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Many sleepless nights followed. I was struggling with the idea that I made a terrible mistake and would just have to pay the consequences. Yet, in my heart was the faint hope that God had not forgotten me - that good was an active presence in my life. This thought was actually my spiritual sense speaking. We all have this sense, and with it we discern our inseparable relation to God.

Soon after on a December morning as I walked to a business appointment, I spotted a bird's nest in the branches of a small leafless tree. I almost missed it as I hurried along in the below-zero temperature. But after my initial glance, something told me to take a closer look.

What a masterpiece it was. Despite exposure to months of rain, snow, and cold, it was the picture of perfection and beauty - every twig, every scrap of material intact. In the stillness of the moment an indescribable peace washed over me. I felt awakened to the presence of infinite Mind, God, maintaining all creation from "every winged fowl" to man (see Genesis, chapter 1).

In her exegesis of this creation, Mary Baker Eddy wrote in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "There is but one creator and one creation. This creation consists of the unfolding of spiritual ideas and their identities, which are embraced in the infinite Mind, and forever reflected. These ideas range from the infinitesimal to infinity, and the highest ideas are the sons and daughters of God" (pgs. 502-503).

I love the fact that each of us is a spiritual idea in the infinite Mind. As the spiritual "sons and daughters" of God we actually reflect His infinite wisdom. Listening for God's guidance - even in small things - we don't have to be confused or intimidated by material conditions. Decisions inspired by divine Mind, to whom mistakes are unknown, lead to good judgments and right action.

But what about those times when we've misjudged? Is there no recourse? Definitely, there is. We don't have to give in to defeat if we've made a mistake. Divine help is at hand. God, good, leads us to higher and better thoughts and actions. God speaks to us in delightfully surprising and often unconventional ways. For me His message was clear that winter day: I could trust Him to care for me as surely as He had cared for the bird.

During the weeks that followed, I spent each morning in prayer. These were opportunities to set aside my own will and listen for ideas from Mind. I went about each day feeling guided by this divine intelligence. I felt God's control in every detail of my life.

Things began to change. Part-time work became available, adding to my financial security, and the hours of my new job fit perfectly with my daytime schedule. In less than a year, without even seeking it, I was again offered the employment opportunity I had previously turned down.

As we trustingly turn away from fears and disappointments, we will discover our real identity as the sons and daughters of God, forever "embraced in the infinite Mind."

As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:

So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.

He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields;

Deuteronomy 32:11-13

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