Statistics about employment can be disheartening. Unemployment in the United States hovers above 7 percent and even higher for some groups, such as minority youth. Using statistics to predict future trends, some analysts say there will always have to be people unemployed and underemployed.
But unemployment isn't just statistics. It's lives, and some of us know this first- hand. We are the ones out there looking for meaningful, dignified ways to contribute to society, to earn our own livelihood, and to take care of our own responsibilities. Have we no choice but to be victims of statistical probability?
Combating probability may seem difficult, but it can be done. It's interesting to note that statistics make their predictions by generalizing. That's an oversimplified way of putting it, but they do draw general conclusions by looking at patterns that develop in a sample of numbers gathered. The way to escape being a part of these disturbing generalizations is to assert our individual, spiritual uniqueness. To do this takes more than human willfulness. To assert our distinctiveness we have to understand its spiritual and scientific roots.
The roots of our uniqueness are evident in the precedent Christ Jesus gave. With his life he proved that eachof us is a special case; each of is the exception to any generalization that would sap our right to purposeful, rewarding work.
While no one can do his "Father's business" n1 quite in the way Jesus did, each of us can have the full employment Jesus promised. Consider his statement, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also". n2 Here is an employment plan that leaves no one out of satisfying work. Those who accept this assignment -- whatever direction they may take in their lives -- can expect to find deep rewards.
n1 Luke 2:49;
n2 John 14:12.
Jesus prophecy was not based on statistical probability. It was founded in what Jesus knew about the true nature of work. No matter what job we now have or are looking for, Jesus' insight into work can transform our lives. To one of his disciples Jesus said, "Believest thou not that I am in the FatherM and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." n3
n3 v. 10.
It is possible for us to see our own work in this humble and powerful light. We can legitimately expect that as we pray and feel God working in us, we will see Him employing us permanently, satisfyingly, and with full compensation. The work God gives us is the Christly work of expressing His natureM of giving evidence of His goodness, tenderness, strength, wisdom, grace, and healing power.
We start working by doing as Jesus did. We acknowledge God as Truth, at work in us, and we follow the lead of that Truth. We, too, can build into our day conscious communion with God who is our Life, ever active in meeting human needs; our Love, ever purposeful in its healing influence; and our Mind, ever intelligent in satisfying its creation.
Mary Baker Eddy n4 writes what can be seen as a job description for anyone in need of permanent and meaningful work. In Science and Health with Key to the Scripturesm she saysM "Prayer, watching, and working, combined with self-immolation, are God's gracious means for accomplishing whatever has been successfully done for the Christianization and health of mankind." n5
n4 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Fonder of Christian Science;
n5 Science and Health,m p. 1.
Prayer, watching, and working are some of the ways God works in us. While our lives will each be individual in showing that God is at work in us, they can be satisfying lives. We can have the safety, shelter, rest, and nourishment we need. We can expect to have the challenges of a life devoted to God as well as the vision and strength to meet them. There's no waiting around for this assignment, and no retirement from it. Statistical probability can't touch the timeless worth of this work to us and to our communities. When we are doing this work ourselves, we are helping nullify the grim employment predictions for everyone. And that's good work. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice? Job 8:3