Employment During Recession
ARE you at a crossroads? Transitions in our lives can often leave us wondering "What is my real purpose?"I've been at those crossroads myself, many times. However, I've learned that these times can be very valuable! They give us an opportunity to learn more of God and of our unbreakable relationship with Him. Sometimes we need an urgent demand to make us halt our everyday busyness and turn in prayer to God. One such occasion occurred for me when the region where I lived was hit hard with recession. Without warning, I was notified that my company could no longer keep me on. As a student of Christian Science, I've learned that putting prayer first ensures the effectiveness of any other actions we may take. This prayer is more than asking God for something; it is affirming the truths of God's being and of man's relationship to Him, and then learning to listen for His direction. Quite a lot of prayer preceded any writing or sending of resumes. I reasoned this way: God is true cause, and man--our genuine identity--is effect. God is our true employer, therefore man, as effe ct, is always employed. As we begin to understand what being employed by God means, we are able to express more good, to reflect more of Godlike qualities such as intelligence, wisdom, and grace. Because God is the source of these qualities, their expression is unlimited and always available. These spiritual facts freed me from anxiety and I felt renewed spiritual purpose. I was ready for action. Soon I found a position in my field. I loved working there. But the story is not over. Five months later, a massive layoff took place in this firm, as well, and I was one of the first to go. I was stunned. Lifelong study of the Bible had shown me that there is no true power greater than God's government of man. Therefore, I reasoned, there can be no reversal of His divine purpose for us. I yearned to know more of my true spiritual purpose. I had learned that God always speaks to us in a way that we can understand, so I listened for His guidance. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, explains in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "Man is not absorbed in Deity, an d man cannot lose his individuality, for he reflects eternal Life; nor is he an isolated, solitary idea, for he represents infinite Mind, the sum of all substance. As I prayed to understand what this could mean to me, I realized that there is a reason for man's existence, and it is spiritual, not material: Our primary purpose is to represent God, divine Mind. This recognition refuted the false concept that man's identity could ever be anything less than God's very own expression. I felt this truth streng thening and lifting my thought--my sense of worth and purpose was being restored. Even when no immediate job prospects opened up, I persisted in knowing that a better understanding of God, Truth, meets every human need. The Bible and its unfailing messages of healing had helped me many times in my life, and I turned wholeheartedly to it now to find direction. One day, while studying the Bible, several verses from II Peter caught my attention. First I read: "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue. What a promise! Not only was there an abundant increase of grace and peace promised, but all things that pertain to life and godliness. I felt assured of God's power to bestow all good and of His great love for us all. As I read on, I realized that there was something I needed to do to claim God's abundant good: "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. These were qualities needed in any job! The important part for me was "giving all diligence, which reminded me to give priority to these qualities. I needed to live them, without being concerned with salary or the location and prestige of a firm. Then the verses continue with another great promise: "For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. How I longed for this kind of security. It didn't lie in a job offer with a long-term position promised, a comfortable salary, or an easy commute but in the guarantee of spiritual prosperity that comes from a God-focused consciousness. Christ Jesus' life is the best example of how to fulfill God's purpose for His sons and daughters. The Master taught that love for God and man was fundamental. Jesus was the greatest servant of mankind because he best served God. And he did this through his healing ministry. My purpose, I began to see, is to follow in the way Jesus taught. I was discovering that the most important work is to serve mankind by serving God first! I called another company within the same industry. The president called me in for an interview. I felt this was a place where I could be of service. The next morning, the president telephoned to say he wanted me to start Monday morning on a short assignment. I have since enjoyed a steady flow of free-lance work from this company. The best part about being employed by God is the living of one's true purpose--to glorify Him. This purpose is what gives color, dominion, and vigor to every task, in or out of the office. And striving to express more Christlike humility settles us into right activity every moment of the day.