Unemployed? What you can do.

A Christian Science perspective on daily life.

The numbers released earlier this month, reporting 240,000 US jobs lost last month, are, in one sense, like all other numbers. They give you data. They show you the big picture. They add to previous reports to total 1.2 million jobs lost so far this year. They multiply the number of "experts" ready to prognosticate about the future, in this case about how they foresee a deep and global recession. But those numbers tell you almost nothing about the real persons they represent. Numbers rarely do.

They don't capture the hopes and dreams, the sweat and toil, the fear and doubt, the courage and triumph of a million human hearts. Every one of them has a unique story. Perhaps that story includes the aspirations of a young person just starting on his or her career path. Maybe the story is of someone in mid-career, scrambling to make ends meet while supporting a whole family. Or perhaps it's someone with a personal hardship he or she was battling even before unemployment crashed down on them. Every story is unique. No person is just a number.

That fact alone hints at a very real reason to hope. You are not a number. You don't have to find 1.2 million jobs, just the one in which you can give of the talents you have.

Finding it is not an impossible journey. The one God, who is the Mind and Life of all, is with you in real and meaningful ways, ways that make a problem-solving difference on your journey. He knows what you uniquely have to give, and brings together God-sent abilities with appropriate opportunities. Consider this from the Bible: "For we are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God previously prepared for us" (Eph. 2:10, The Modern Language Bible).

Think of that. You are not a number. A number might be overlooked or forgotten by others. You are not a self-made man or woman. A self-made person might seem defective or out of date to others. You are God's own handiwork. You are His idea. Your true life is the expression of Him as divine Life. He didn't design you to sit on the sidelines. He made you to be the productive and useful idea of His creating. That's different from being a beast of burden, saddled with the task of sustaining all the aspects of life – sustaining it all with a paycheck that may no longer be there. Divine Life sustains itself. And sustains you. You, rightly employed, express that spiritual fact. You're here to do His good work – work already prepared for you.

That's not to suggest that there's a specific job on the human scene that He prepared for you. Rather, He knows the spiritual qualities, the intelligence, the insight, the staying power, and so on that He built into you as His idea. He knows that those spiritual qualities – and therefore He knows that you – fill a unique niche and meet a specific need in His universe. There is a demand for what you have to give.

If you find yourself unemployed, what can you do? You can get a sighting on the nature of God as the great producer, as the one Mind and Life of all. Then you can't help beginning to see yourself as Mind's one-of-a-kind idea, blessed with spiritual qualities that make you productive and useful. Don't wait to claim these facts as true about you. They're true right now. They're true even before your next employer calls you in for an interview.

Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy wrote in her primary work, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "In God's creation ideas became productive, obedient to Mind…. Mind, instead of matter, being the producer, Life was self-sustained" (p. 544). You as an idea of Mind are already productive, already employed by Mind, already expressive of the self-sustaining dimension of Life. Knowing this will help you – not as a number but as a unique individual – find a good job.

My times are in thy hand. Psalms 31:15

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