SOMETIMES it doesn't look as though there's a place for everyone. There are the unemployed, the homeless. In some parts of the world there are large numbers of people without basic provision. And maybe we ourselves, though adequately cared for, have felt we just didn't have a niche in life. While from a human perspective it may seem valid -- and inevitable -- that some struggle along, unable to find their place, a spiritual perspective tells us something quite different. It helps us to see beyond the injustice of a materialistic sense of existence to a perception of divine reality and of God's care for each of us.
Could God, who is universal Love, allow some of His creation to flounder around in life without a purpose or to be stranded without help or hope? No, He couldn't. And acknowledging that fact is an important first step in seeing the way more clearly in our own lives and in helping humanity through our prayers.
Christ Jesus' words ``Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom''1 clearly show God's love for man. They indicate that His will is good. They point to the spiritual reality of creation, beyond the false, material sense of things. In divine reality man isn't a frustrated mortal without a niche; he's God's valued spiritual offspring with a distinct purpose, created to express the divine nature in an individual, incomparable way. And because this is reality in its truest sense, it can come to light in human experience through prayer and through a growing desire to express God's nature more fully in all that we do.
On occasion, when I've wondered what my purpose really is and have struggled with a feeling of futility, prayer has opened my eyes to a higher sense of identity. It has helped me to see that man is infinitely more than he appears to be; that he is not, in truth, a potential victim of circumstance, trying to fit into an uncertain material universe. Rather, each individual is God's spiritual likeness. Prayer, in which I've affirmed and come to feel God's love and my own real selfhood, has helped dissolve the false view of things and has opened the way for greater usefulness.
Each of us counts. Our individual niche and purpose are established in God, in the one divine Mind, where we really live. As we're willing to yield in prayer to this reality, regardless of how discouraging things may look, we'll begin to find answers. Preoccupation with where we fit will give way to a dawning recognition that in the most profound sense we already fit.
None of this, of course, precludes hard work in our current activities. But prayer will provide a fresh, spiritually based perspective from which we can better discern God's direction and our own highest capabilities. Then instead of willfully trying to forge a niche for ourselves, we'll see our place more in terms of the qualities we already express, more in terms of who we individually are as God's likeness. And this will inevitably promote our progress in relation to work, home, and so forth.
No one can take your place. As Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, observes, ``Each individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity.''2 And elsewhere she makes this pertinent statement: ``Spirit, God, gathers unformed thoughts into their proper channels, and unfolds these thoughts, even as He opens the petals of a holy purpose in order that the purpose may appear.''3
As we strive to purify our thought and yield in prayer to God's perfect government, we'll see more of our purpose. We'll see more clearly the niche that belongs to us and to no one else.
1Luke 12:32. 2Retrospection and Introspection, p. 70. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 506.