WHEN I was several years out of college I was hired as an assistant manager in a department store. In this case, the title turned out to be a euphemism for ``head stock person.'' I sat in a long, windowless room all day, unpacking boxes and hanging up garments. I felt imprisoned in my job, and I certainly didn't love it! But one day I thought of a passage from the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy.1 She writes, ``Starting from a higher standpoint, one rises spontaneously, even as light emits light without effort; for `where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.'''2 I knew that when I started from the higher standpoint of working for God -- when I knew that what I was valuing was spiritual growth -- I would progress spiritually. And this is what happened. I began to think of my job as the spiritual activity of expressing God-derived attributes such as efficiency, joy, orderliness, dominion, care, helpfulness, and strength.
Soon I looked forward to my work and could honestly say that I loved my job. Within a short time I was given another position that required the expression of all the qualities I had been striving to express plus creativity, intelligence, patience, love, and many more. It was a real improvement.
I'm no longer in that line of work, but I'm still drawing on the lessons I learned during that time. Since then I have had other opportunities to demonstrate that working for God enables one to love honest labor, no matter what it is. And whether you are a janitor or a bus driver, an accountant or a store clerk, a secretary, a businessman, or a homemaker, it's important to love your work. Most of us spend at least a third of our day at a job. So how we feel about our work greatly influences our whole life.
If we're truly dissatisfied with our job, there is a healing answer regardless of whether our discontent stems from underemployment, overemployment, menial employment, stressful employment, or any other situation of employment.
The answer lies in finding out what God has created us to do. The Bible states clearly, ``This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.''3 In other words, God has created man to glorify Himself.
Each of us, no matter who we are and what we do, has this work in common, but each of us does it with individuality and uniqueness. We are each needed and loved by God. And God, our all-loving and good Father-Mother, supplies us with all we need in order to be doing this work of expressing Him. Working for God is inherently joyous and secure, productive and satisfying employment.
But does this understanding of our work for God have anything to do with our job? How can it help us to love what we do?
Everything that provides a genuine service to our fellowman can be seen as an opportunity for spiritual activity, as an aspect of our work for God. And this spiritual element of the work is the actual substance of it.
For example, if we are doing even the simplest, entry-level work, it can become an opportunity to express such God-derived attributes as order, purity, efficiency, and thoroughness. Every job can be done in a way that expresses accuracy, alertness, promptness, and helpfulness.
As we meet our human responsibilities, then, we can be conscious of doing our divine job. We can be alert to express spiritual qualities in everything that we do. This approach allows us to be always doing the most meaningful, purposeful and satisfying work there is: work that contributes to our spiritual growth.
Being about the work of reflecting God enables someone in a stressful position to express greater order and skill. Being a reflection is controlled, natural, unerring, instantaneous, and restful activity. Working for God brings us into line with the source of all intelligence, God, the divine Mind. And serving God intelligently enables us to do our job correctly and wisely.
There is nothing menial, arduous, or unimportant in working for God. Even the simplest care of our homes and families can be done with tenderness and love.
As we become more actively conscious of working for God in everything we do, our lives can cease to be lots of unrelated segments, some of which we put up with so we can enjoy others. Expressing spiritual qualities enriches every facet of our experience. Helpfulness, accuracy, and orderliness make us better people and parents, as well as workers, wherever we are.
When we are loving what we do for God, we can always love our job.
1The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 2Science and Health, p. 262. 3Isaiah 43:21.
You can find more articles about spiritual healing in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine.
BIBLE VERSE: Jesus answered and said.... Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:25, 28-30