THE expression of our abilities and qualities of character need not be limited to a single profession or field of study. Certainly each of us has a distinct individuality that includes unique interests. But too often we limit ourselves to one or two ``talents,'' and if the avenues for the employment and professional development of these talents are limited, we may feel stuck or unfulfilled or think that our purpose has been thwarted by circumstances beyond our control. It is important to remove our sense of talent from the pigeonholing limits of materiality. For example, an athlete who recognizes that a vital ingredient of his training is dedication and discipline, and that these can therefore be continued away from the field as on the field, is freed from unnecessary limitation. He can practice alertness, readiness, precision, strength, integrity, intelligence, grace, control, and endurance in all of his activities. The development of his talent, strength, individuality, does not depend solely on physical procedure or place.
A young woman found herself in circumstances that threatened her future as a musician. As a Christian Scientist, she understood something of man's actual, spiritual nature and was familiar with Mary Baker Eddy's1 answer to the question ``What is man?'' Part of it reads, ``He is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas; the generic term for all that reflects God's image and likeness; the conscious identity of being as found in Science, in which man is the reflection of God, or Mind, and therefore is eternal; that which has no separate mind from God; that which has not a single quality underived from Deity; that which possesses no life, intelligence, nor creative power of his own, but reflects spiritually all that belongs to his Maker.''2 She listed the spiritual qualities associated with the practice and performance of music, knowing that as the reflection of God, Spirit, she could express ``all right ideas.'' When she acknowledged harmony and beauty as spiritual qualities which she included, she saw that these qualities were still hers to express, no matter what her circumstances were, whether she played a musical instrument or not. She came to see daily life as a kind of musical instrument. Daily demands became opportunities to put qualities such as harmony and joy into practice.
She began living musically instead of limiting her music-making solely to the practice studio. The expression of vitality, joy, perfect timing, could not be stifled. She found she could practice these anytime, and right where she was. Even though circumstances did not change, she was able to return to her instrument within a short time, and she found that she was playing better than ever before. Later, after marrying and having children, it was necessary for her to leave the music world for a number of years. But there were continual opportunities to practice the spiritual qualities she loved in music. As these prevailed in her activities as a homemaker, not only was her family satisfied but the time came when it was possible to return to her instrument and to the study and practice of music. Opportunities to play and perform opened up at just the right time. And she began to appreciate the message of one of Christ Jesus' parables: ``Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things.''3
When we see that our true identity is spiritual, not material, and that as the complete reflection of our Father, infinite Mind and Life, we include all spiritual ability, we will find new channels for the development and expression of our individuality.
If we're willing to shift our attention from a certain profession or activity as the only means of fulfilling our purpose, to the cultivation of spiritual qualities and strengths, we will not be bound by unemployment statistics in a particular field. Even if we find ourselves stuck in a position with apparently no future, we can find our skills adaptable to other activities. Because the source of all our abilities is Spirit, God, they are universally applicable, and capable of continuous development.
1The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 475. 3Matthew 25:21.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men. Proverbs 18:16