Leaving your burden behind
A Christian Science perspective on daily life
I found myself a number of years ago without money or a job and feeling a heavy sense of failure. Regret and self-recrimination dominated my thinking – for having left a stable position several years earlier and for putting up with the string of unsatisfactory jobs that followed. I was confused and panicking about what to do next.
I had to get my thoughts on a different level if I ever wanted to make progress. When I became quiet, listening for God's direction, it became clear that the first thing I had to do was to get beyond the negative sense that I had of myself: an unfortunate mortal struggling alone with a problem of my own making.
The first epistle of John says, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God" (3:2). I had experienced the results of prayer based on this model of the pure relationship with God that everyone has, and, at the deepest level, was confident that I would find a resolution in this case, too.
Also, I knew that the kind of troubling thoughts that seemed so much a part of my thinking, and so much unlike the spiritual model of God's creation, were common and even seemed to hold some influence over humanity as a whole. I wasn't the only one feeling burdened, disappointed, and self-condemning.
So I decided to take each thought that was threatening to overcome my view of myself and my future and deny its power to assert itself into anyone's thinking. I did this on the basis that God is the only real Mind and that, as His children, we reflect this divine Mind.
I committed to spending several hours one night each week to praying about problems in the world that seemed related directly or indirectly to how I felt about my own situation. I used this newspaper as my primary tool to identify and illuminate these issues.
If I read about unemployment or economic problems, I would pray to understand better God's infinite provision of productive activity and of uninterrupted substance and supply to all His creation. If I read about inharmony or war between nations, I prayed that people would become aware of God's government and control and His beneficence toward all.
After only two or three weeks of praying in this way, wonderful things began to happen.
The heaviness lifted significantly. By desiring to heal the beliefs or attitudes that would limit humanity, I was able to let go of my shortsighted focus on my own problem.
Soon I learned of an unusual opportunity to interview for a position for which I felt uniquely suited. The interview went well, and I was offered the job. Within a month, I was living in another part of the country and working with people I deeply respected in a position that eventually became one of the most important and rewarding work experiences of my life.
Jesus said to his followers, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28). For me, "come unto me" meant turning away from the crushing material and personal view of my situation and yielding my thought to the healing, Christly view of God's creation as completely cared for and governed by divine Love.
Mary Baker Eddy, who founded this newspaper, put it this way: "Mortals have only to submit to the law of God, come into sympathy with it, and to let His will be done. This unbroken motion of the law of divine Love gives, to the weary and heavy-laden, rest" ("Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896," p. 208).
Praying for the world – bearing witness to God as universal, omnipotent Love – lifted my burden and brought me progress and joy – and an assured sense that the burden would be lifted for others, as well.