ARE you feeling unimportant? Does it concern you that many of your friends have accomplished much, but you have yet to achieve the goals you had set for yourself? It's great to achieve our goals, but what happens if you suddenly realize, as I did not too long ago, that not only haven't your goals been met, but in all likelihood they never will be?
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in her book The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, ``Ofttimes examine yourselves, and see if there be found anywhere a deterrent of Truth and Love, and `hold fast that which is good''' (pp. 128-129). This counsel was very helpful to me when I had to really examine myself and my goals! I had set many goals for myself, but upon retirement I had accomplished only about half of them. I could not understand why. I began to feel incomplete and unimportant. Melancholy overwhelmed me.
I am a student of Christian Science, and I knew that healing is the natural result of spiritualization of thought. I prayed to understand why I had, as I thought then, failed so badly. I prayed for an understanding heart. I knew from my own many healings that Christian Science heals not only physical ailments but character traits as well. So it was natural for me to expect healing of these feelings of uselessness and discouragement.
As my thought was transformed by the power of Christ, a new view of divine reality filled my consciousness. I began to examine my motives in setting those unaccomplished goals. I had been taught as a child, in the Christian Science Sunday School, to live by the Golden Rule. This meant to me I should think of others as much as I did myself. I now realized that the goals I had not achieved did not involve others as much as they involved me. In fact, I became quite embarrassingly aware that all were for self-aggrandizement. I became more humble and prayed to express more Truth and Love in my daily experiences. I set myself a new goal of doing my best on a day-to-day basis. A much-loved hymn from the Christian Science Hymnal (No. 391) was an inspiration. The first verse tells us:
Why search the future and the
Why do ye look with tearful
And seek far off for paradise?
Before your feet Life's pearl is
All the good I could ever need or want, I saw, is already mine because God is giving it to me right now.
The Apostle Matthew assures us of God's love, pointing out, ``The very hairs of your head are all numbered'' (10:30). How much more important can we be? I began finding new opportunities not only to express good to others on a daily basis, but to feel a sense of daily worth. During summer months I volunteered to help in a continuing education department at a nearby college and was warmly received. I took a test enabling me to substitute in elementary and high schools. And a familiar Bible verse, from Paul's second letter to the Corinthians, became more meaningful to me every day: ``Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation'' (6:2). I was happy I was no longer looking to the future or dwelling on unfulfilled goals, but was useful and fulfilled right now.
While substitute teaching in an elementary school, I was listening to the morning announcements over the classes' public-address system. If I needed any further confirmation of my healing, it came that day in the sweet, lilting voice of a first grader saying that she would be giving the school's inspirational message for the day. She announced almost in a song: ``I am special, and you are special, too.'' I realized that Love and good are just like the sunshine--they shine on everyone equally because they come from God.
We are all important to God, and He is always pouring out enough good for everyone.