This weather is terrible,'' lamented my produce dealer. ''Nobody's out shopping today, and it's Friday!'' His remarks made me reexamine what really makes a business succeed.
There seem to be so many elements that influence how well a business fares, such as weather, luck, location. But whether we're plumbers or homemakers, corporate executives or schoolteachers, we can see our business as governed by divine law, not by happenstance or human conditions. Christ Jesus spoke of being about his Father's business. n1 His words point to a requirement for us all.
n1 See Luke 2:49
When we're confronted with fear about some aspect of the business of our lives, the Bible can offer great comfort. The prophet represents God as saying, ''Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.'' n2
n2 Isaiah 41:10
Certainly Jesus' success in healing the sick, saving the sinner, feeding the hungry, and raising the dead, demonstrated his understanding of God's unfailing care. It demonstrated the supremacy of God as the very Principle governing the universe. That divine Principle, God, is infinite and eternal. God's law is a living, beneficent one, which upholds everyone adhering to it, now as well as then.
To understand, even in a small degree, that man is the image of God - capable , intelligent, and under divine authority - can help us in any endeavor. Our security is not truly at the mercy of the weather, as the Master proved when he calmed a storm at sea. n3 Nor is the life or health of our business subject to luck. Jesus trusted his work to the Father's all-power, and restored life and health to those willing to be redeemed by the law of God.
n3 See Luke 8:22-25
Our loving Father-Mother God is unconditional in His care. There are no exceptions. He never turns from us, though we may sometimes think, in error, that we can turn from Him.
A man I know was threatened with the loss of his business because of one small technical mistake made under rush conditions. He was paralyzed with fear and withdrew from the daily activity of the business, even going so far as to consider suicide. Then he learned that he could pray, turn unreservedly to a God who is Love for immediate help. As he strove daily to live his prayers, to express honesty and integrity and to trust God's all-power, the picture changed completely. Over two hundred employees kept their jobs, and the businessman's life was radically changed. He had found a permanent source for confidence and good judgment. He learned to go to God to inspire and control every detail of his life. What a relief from carrying about a daily burden of personal responsibility for his employees' welfare, his suppliers' trustworthiness, his customers' concerns.
When we're willing to turn from fear, and toward God, we'll find the guidance we need. In a short article Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science and founder of this newspaper, writes: ''The Psalmist saith: 'He shall give His angels charge over thee.' God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for tomorrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment.'' n4
n4 Miscellaneous Writings, pp. 306-307
What do you think you need? More customers, better weather, a new location or image? Whether you are serving in a factory or a day-care center, kitchen or courtroom, the business of your life, in the truest sense, is to express divine good. And because your Father loves you, no circumstance can stand in the way of your well-being. Many people have proved this, and you can too.
We can be lifted out of doubt by the prophet's encouraging words, referring to God, ''He calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power: not one faileth.'' n5
n5 Isaiah 40:26
As our motives improve from mere materialism to finding joy in serving, we find true satisfaction in our daily activity. Then when we are asked how business is, we can honestly and enthusiastically say, ''Wonderful!'' DAILY BIBLE VERSE The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.