HAVE you ever been offered a job opportunity for which you felt unqualified and -- like a reluctant child -- rebelled, thinking, ``I can't do it! I don't want to!'' That's what happened to me. Now, however, I look back on that job as providing me with some of the most valuable lessons of my life. I was working in a large organization, and there was an opening in accounting and cashier work that could lead to a permanent job. In my rsum, I'd listed bookkeeping for a one-person office, and the personnel office had noticed that experience. So there I was, immersed in figures. Me, who had always just squeaked through mathematics classes!
I knew from my study of Christian Science that God, the divine Parent, has only good in store for all His children. So I prayed to understand how this job would fit into God's good plan for me. I also found myself echoing the Psalmist's words and saying, ``But please, Father, `open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.''' And I held to the reassurance I found in this statement in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science: ``God is not separate from the wisdom He bestows. The talents He gives we must improve.''
I was able to do the job and stayed for two years, working with long columns of figures, handling receipts, computing international exchange rates, and serving on the cashier's desk. This last work was the most challenging, I found, because it was always rushed and required precision and accuracy, as well as friendliness in dealing with the long lines of people.
One day after closing, I found a discrepancy in my tallies. Almost panic-stricken, I frantically recalculated the totals. Then I stopped and took myself prayerfully in hand. I told myself, You reflect that loving God, Mind, who never makes mistakes, and is here, right now, revealing all you need to know. Calmer, I began counting the money again. As I removed the rubber band from each denomination, I tossed it on the counter. One band fell in the shape of a heart. You've probably seen this happen yoursel f. I thought: The symbol of love. And right then, it reminded me of divine Love, God. I recalled Mrs. Eddy's poem ``Signs of the Heart'' with lines reading:
O Love divine,
This heart of Thine
Is all I need to comfort mine.
Peace came over me. I continued counting and discovered that a piece of larger-denomination currency was mixed in with that of a lower denomination. The new totals balanced perfectly. I never again felt panicky with the cashier work. It became a joy and a real service to others.
I feel sure that what enabled me to succeed in that job situation was having the humility to drop self-pity and listen for God's guidance. And, clearly, my willingness to trust God, Mind, had brought to light for me that hidden talent of our ability to be wholly governed by God. Man really is God's child, an idea of divine Mind.
In the Bible, Paul tells the Philippians, ``I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.'' When we're listening to let God tell us what we need to know, we can indeed uncover our hidden talents and enjoy putting them to work.