During my second year at university I worked in the library -- and disliked every minute of it. Toward the end of the year the head librarian, whom I considered a stern but highly capable woman, called the student workers in one by one to assess their work. I was shocked when she reprimanded me for the quality of my performance. I had never been absent without a replacement, never been late. I had even done extra work that had gone unnoticed by her. But the things she had seen apparently didn't impress her. "It's your attitude!" she declared.
She had me on that point. And she taught me a lesson I'll never forget. I remembered Peg, who was almost consistently late for library duty but who loved everything she did there. Her attitude made her a far more valued worker than I , who followed the requirements but with no enthusiasm.
I'm sure that in due time Peg learned to be prompt just as I have learned the importance of loving what I do. Paul wrote, "Though I give my body to be burned , and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." n1 Applied to a job, this means to me that going through all the motions of a job but not having your heart in it doesn't result in good service.
n1 I Corinthians 13:3.
We may try to fake a cooperative attitude. But we rarely fool anybody. Though we may never say or do anything to indicate indifference or hostility, what we're thinking is felt.
There may be good reason for dissatisfaction -- especially if a supervisor is inconsiderate or dishonest or otherwise inadequate. Sometimes there is a productive way to air grievances. But when there is not, we aren't without recourse.
If we turn to God to know what He knows, we will find that evil is not real about anybody. All that God knows is good. And He knows all. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, states: "All reality is in God and His creation, harmonious and eternal. That which He creates is good, and He makes all that is made. Therefore the only reality of sin, sickness, or death is the awful fact that unrealities seem real to human, erring belief, until God strips off their disguise. They are not true, because they are not of God." n2
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 472.m
Instead of feeling helpless about an unpromising job, we can learn to see beyond the boredom or mediocrity or dishonesty. If we keep alert to the spiritual truth of God's goodness and total supremacy, we'll realize that wherever we work, we're working for Him. Our orders come from God.
Disagreements over work procedures often are simply matters of opinion about the best way to reach certain ends. In such cases we may need to learn the lesson of respect for those in supervisory positions, knowing that in their true natures they are ideas of God, and then strive to follow instructions willingly and humbly.
In addition to integrity and humility, qualities that will improve attitude about work are intelligence, joy, vitality, and kindness. We can measure our kindness, for instance, by our obedience to the Golden Rule that Christ Jesus gave us: "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." n3
n3 Matthew 7:12.
God's power to produce good is infinite; evil is powerless to obstruct his blessing. When we try to live our lives in accordance with this realization, even though we feel locked into a very disagreeable job, things happen. Perhaps conditions improve right where we are. Or we move to a better place.
My year in the university library taught me some valuable, though painful, lessons. I'm sure they prepared me for the opportunity that came in my last two years at the school, when I was invited by the French professor to tutor younger students. No problem with attitude there. I loved it! DAILY BIBLE VERSE We should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. Romans 7:6