Right motives--right decisions
HOW can I make right decisions? How can I escape the haunting questions ``Did I make a mistake? Can I depend on family and friends for impartial counsel?'' Perhaps at some point you have asked yourself such questions. Yet there is a key that opens a door marked ``right choice.'' It's a passkey called right motives. I used it recently. I had received an offer from an organization to train for a position in an educational project they were sponsoring. It was intended to raise standards of achievement for individuals and their communities. My initial response had been to bypass the opportunity. I was accustomed to working alone in my field, on my own schedule. A confidante commented, ``Explain that you appreciate the offer but that it would take time away from the work you really love to do.'' Another friend, working in the administrative offices of this particular project and familiar with the good it was doing, exclaimed: ``What an opportunity! With your knowledge and background you'd be perfect for the job.'' ``But I like being my own boss,'' I argued. Having to report to others, taking assignments that entailed travel, meeting with different groups, would be a turnabout in my life style. I was happy and successful. ``Why change?'' I wondered. ``Why interrupt my smoothly running routine?'' But ``isn't this a selfish point of view?'' became the nagging question. Then, putting aside all the ``fors'' and ``againsts,'' I decided to look at the situation in a more spiritual light. This meant gaining a higher view of motives and aims and a deeper appreciation of the goals involved. I needed to nurture a love for those with whom I would be working. I realized through my study of Christian Science that it was also necessary to overcome fear--fear of making a mistake. This stemmed from the common judgment that man is a material creature separated from God, who is the source of all true wisdom and motivation, of harmony and happiness. Looking to God, the one Mind, for answers, I grew in the conviction that I could, as did the prophet, become aware of His direction: ``And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.'' 1 Assurance came quickly. I thought, ``No matter what you do or where you go or what challenges you may have to face, you'll always be in the presence of God, infinite Love, lighting your way. And you will always be loved.'' I remembered Christ Jesus' words to his disciples ``Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.'' 2 And on another occasion he said, ``The kingdom of God is within you.'' 3 Daily study of the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy,4 had revealed this ``within'' kingdom to be individual spiritual consciousness, reflecting the intelligence and wisdom of divine Mind--in fact, all the qualities of the divine nature. A perception of this God-bestowed dominion enables one to progress and to help others progress. The answer came unexpectedly, but, as the saying goes, ``loud and clear.'' I was awakened to a greater sense of gratitude for all the benefits that had come from the organization that had extended the invitation, and I felt impelled to make a contribution in return. I made the commitment with genuine gratitude and gladness of heart. What inspired the change? Purifying motives, humble surrender of an adamant resistance to a new option, admitting that possibly I could be wrong! I also became receptive to the idea that by innovative scheduling, periods could be provided for individual study and research, which would bring both activities together in mutual purpose and progress. And finally, I stopped asking, ``What's good for me?'' and started asking instead, ``What' s good for all those concerned?'' Futile discussion yielded to inspired listening. Mrs. Eddy writes, ``Right motives give pinions to thought, and strength and freedom to speech and action.'' 5 And she points out elsewhere: ``God is responsible for the mission of those whom He has anointed. Those who know no will but His take His hand, and from the night He leads to light.'' 6 1 Isaiah 30:21. 2 Luke 12:32. 3 Luke 17:21. 4 The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 5 Science and Health, p. 454. 6 Miscellaneous Writings, p. 347.