DID you ever want to be a poet, an author, or a painter and find yourself daydreaming a bit about what-might-have-beens when you read articles about artists? I know I have. After having studied art at a university, I found myself with a modest talent and a large yearning to be considered an artist. I also had to admit that I would need more vision and love to succeed at painting. So I worked at various jobs but felt unfulfilled.
Yet God, our Father-Mother Love, has not created any one of His children capable of being unfulfilled. God's offspring, expressing His nature, are complete in every detail, satisfied. They are not frustrated mortals but blessed spiritual beings, governed wisely and lovingly by their creator. And this is the true selfhood of us all, a reality that we can begin to prove in practical ways. Because God cares for His creation, we can trust Him to meet all our needs.
In praying about my own experience I saw that my real need was not to be a great artist; rather it was to master the art, or occupation, of living with the grace, humility, kindness, and spiritual beauty that Christ Jesus taught.
The fact that God cares for our needs does not mean all our desires will be fulfilled in the way we plan. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ``We must resign with good grace what we are denied, and press on with what we are, for we cannot do more than we are nor understand what is not ripening in us.''1
We come to understand more of our God-given potential as we learn of man's true, spiritual nature. The first chapter of the Bible states that God made man in His own image and likeness. As God's image, man includes intelligence, beauty, and grace, and he includes both a spiritual purpose and the ability to succeed in that purpose. Our purpose is to glorify God by expressing the perfection of His nature and by demonstrating the reality and power of good and the consequent fraudulence and powerlessness of evil.
The disciples of Christ Jesus occasionally asked about greatness. He taught them that the one who is great is the one who serves others. He encouraged them to discover that greatness comes from doing good. Referring to God's commandments, he said, ``Whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.''2
As I sought to express the spiritual qualities we all inherently have and to be governed by God's commandments, I found I developed a greater appreciation for myself and for the work I was doing. My employment changed and expanded too. Although I am not an artist, I endeavor to share some of the colors of goodness with the world.
As we grow spiritually, we begin to see that the spirit we bring to our work is more permanent than the work itself. Mrs. Eddy writes: ``The letter of your work dies, as do all things material, but the spirit of it is immortal.... Only those men and women gain greatness who gain themselves in a complete subordination of self.''3
Perhaps we will never write a great poem or paint a great painting, but we can hope to attain the greatness Jesus promised. We can begin now and diligently press toward our goal. As we endeavor to reflect God, good, in all we do, our work will bring a true satisfaction and will be appreciated by those our lives do touch.
1The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 195. 2Matthew 5:19. 3Miscellany, p. 194.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. I Peter 5:6,7