Did you once feel stretched by your work but not anymore? Well, you aren't alone. Whenever we find ourselves limited by a job, we can turn humbly to God in prayer, asking what more we can do for Him, or what further lessons need to be learned right where we are. We will either be shown more satisfying ways to enlarge our usefulness where we are, or perhaps be directed into an entirely different field, as I was some years ago.
For quite a while I had been organizing management courses for business people. At first I had loved the work and thought it used my modest skills to good advantage. But gradually I began to feel bored and frustrated. Each time a new group of course members arrived I would hear myself saying the same things I had said a hundred times before.
Should I just have put up with the boredom as something one has to expect eventually in any job? No. As a student of Christian Science I knew that when anything in our lives goes awry--whether it's a job, a relationship, or our physical well-being--there's a reliable step we can take: we can pray.
We learn from reading the Bible that man--our true being--is God's image and likeness. And man's natural state is harmony. So when this harmony appears to be violated by any form of discord, we can restore our peace through prayer and consecrated study of the Bible.
In Psalms we read, ``Let thy work appear unto thy servants . . . and establish thou the work of our hands upon us.'' 1 Every day I prayed to be more receptive to God's establishment of my work, to serve Him rather than just to be a more efficient organizer of management courses. I prayed to express more Christliness, more of God's goodness, earnestly striving to enlarge my concept of what I could do for Him.
Through this constant prayer I regained the joy and satisfaction I had first experienced in this job--but I continued to listen too. I felt somehow I was being gently chastised for yielding to boredom and frustration in the first place.
Mary Baker Eddy2 writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``Through the wholesome chastisements of Love, we are helped onward in the march towards righteousness, peace, and purity, which are the landmarks of Science. Beholding the infinite tasks of truth, we pause,--wait on God. Then we push onward, until boundless thought walks enraptured, and conception unconfined is winged to reach the divine glory.'' 3
With my thought full of this freeing concept of welcoming God's direction, alert to do His will, I found many new ways to enlarge my usefulness, with a consequent sense of fulfillment. Perhaps, after all, this was my continuing work.
Then a booklet arrived in the mail from a shipping company I had once worked for, detailing a new service they were to provide abroad. Still lacking on the staff, their letter said, was someone to handle various tasks not directly connected with running the ships: seamen's training programs, company housing, newsletters, and so forth. Would I be interested?
Would I be interested!
But then came the doubts. How could I possibly do all that? I wouldn't know anyone on the staff. It would mean a complete upheaval in my life. Where was this place anyway?
Again I found my peace and guidance in the Bible. The Psalmist writes: ``Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? . . . If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.'' 4
Through constant prayer and listening to God I soon came to see that this was indeed a right step. So I took ``the wings of the morning'' and went. For several rewarding years I experienced yet another proof that when we humbly obey the Father in every aspect of our lives, we are blessed beyond measure.
So if you feel stirrings in your heart that whisper there's a larger usefulness for you, pray--and keep listening.
1 Psalms 90:16, 17. 2 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 3 Science and Health, p. 323. 4 Psalms 139:7, 9, 10. Daily Bible Verse: Promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge. Psalms 75:6, 7