COULD it be that there is a specific workplace for each of us? This question once faced me. I needed work. My main wish was that it should not be teaching, a profession that seemed very confining to me. A friend encouraged me to trust God with my desire to find fulfilling work. She was a student of Christian Science, and she agreed to pray with me that I would be led to the right occupation where I could be of most help to others.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes of prayer in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``Consistent prayer is the desire to do right.'' As my friend and I prayed, I truly wanted to do what was right. Two weeks later I began an occupation that continued in various forms for the rest of my professional career, and provided great interest, progress, and satisfaction. I became a teacher, for my prejudice against the work had completely disappeared.
I've always loved this passage in Psalm 90: ``The work of our hands establish thou it.'' ``The work of our hands'' could include any organizational, artistic, mechanical, or other talents we have. The Bible tells us that God made man like Himself, in His own image. God is limitless wisdom, infinite Love, and will not let our abilities go unused. If we trust Him, we will find our talents called upon and developed in ways we could not have dreamed of. In fact we will find ourselves in situations that uncover and nurture talents we did not even know we had! But these abilities are not our personal possessions -- they are actually abilities of God, who is Soul, the source of all beauty and the power of expressing it.
Our progress toward finding our individual workplace may take various turns. But each step -- if we are trusting God -- will bring progress. Joseph, we read in Genesis, spent some years as a slave and then was wrongfully imprisoned. But throughout these years he was obedient to God and was making spiritual progress even when it seemed as though his situation was getting worse. Finally, as a result of his trust in God, Joseph was appointed by the king of Egypt as his chief ruler, because he was ``a man in whom the Spirit of God'' was, and he was able to do great good to many people.
As our work comes to us through prayer, we are able to do whatever is rightfully required of us. To meet the challenges I faced in teaching, I always turned to God for help, and always received it.
Mrs. Eddy writes in Retrospection and Introspection, ``Each individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity.'' I like what a dictionary says about the word niche -- that it is ``a place, employment, or activity for which a person is best fitted.'' It comes from a French word that means ``to nest,'' and I often think with joy of how perfectly I found my niche.
Important as our human work is, there is other work, which Christ Jesus showed us in his life. He never ceased this loving work day or night. This work was to bring the knowledge and presence of God to mankind and to teach man of his likeness to his Father. He understood this so clearly that he was able to demonstrate it in healing. Perhaps our first and most important work is to do our best to follow Christ Jesus' example -- and this will certainly benefit us and everyone in our workplace.
Whether we're snuggled into our niche or still looking for it, God has work for us, and leads us to it.