SYNDICATED columnist Ann Landers recently wrote, "When young people write and ask me how to find employment, I don't know what to tell them. . . . I know of no magic words to open those doors" (Los Angeles Times, December 26, 1995). But there is an answer to employment problems. It can be found in words from the Bible: "Thy [God's] will be done" (Matthew 6:10). While these words from the Lord's Prayer aren't magic, they do lead directly to finding employment.
Can it be God's will for someone to be unemployed? God's creation is the result of the fact that His power is good and infinite. He cannot have made the mistake of creating something that (or someone who) loses its place in creation. Each of God's children permanently fills an essential, specific niche. Each reflects God's being in an important and irreplaceable way. No aspect of creation is ever useless or unwanted, and God will not permit any one of us to lapse into disservice. That would allow for Him to be party to something limited, in which case God would stop being infinite.
Expressing God is a full-time occupation. If you make your educational and professional choices on the basis of a simple desire to express His love, if you steadfastly trust in His direction, if you listen for His guidance, you will be led to the right situation.
It's only when we make choices based on fear or on the desire for status, money, or popularity that human efforts are unfruitful. But right then comes the opportunity to listen for God's direction. Consider these words of the Founder of the Christian Science Church, Mary Baker Eddy: "Be of good cheer; the warfare with one's self is grand; it gives one plenty of employment, and the divine Principle worketh with you,-and obedience crowns persistent effort with everlasting victory" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 118).
Once during a trying time in my life, I was asking God for His direction, and the idea came to me to take an entrance examination for graduate school. For some years I had felt there was much more that I could be accomplishing professionally, but somehow a single career path hadn't become plain. That idea to take the exam, which included moving into an entirely new field, seemed to be the right answer. I took the steps necessary to register for the exam and studied for it. And I found myself on the waiting list for the school of my choice.
But then a few weeks after I heard that from the school, my company announced cutbacks, and I ended up without work. I was somewhat rattled at the prospect of unemployment, but I prayed earnestly to gain a sense of peace. I remembered the words of Christ Jesus to God, "Not my will, but thine, be done" (Luke 22:42). So I prayed to do God's will, not my own. I reasoned from my spiritual knowledge that I could not be hurt by trusting God. Following His will, I reasoned, leads to a path, not a dead end. Through this prayer, I became confident-confident that God was caring for me.
And I then had another idea. I could use the summer months to work on a personal project I had been doing in my spare time. Surprisingly, and in a short space of time, it became clear to me that this project could be developed into a full-time business. It was a business I could run from my home. I became so enthusiastic about this new work that, when I heard I hadn't been accepted to grad school, I was actually relieved.
Here's the point: I might have assumed that because my prayer led me to take the entrance exam, God's plan would involve my actually going to school. But instead, events occurred to give me the opportunity to develop that business, which has since satisfied all my desire for progressive challenges and opportunities to help my community. Also I learned I had to let go of my own assumptions in order to appreciate the unfoldment of God's plan.
Is God sending you the same kind of love and guidance? Of course He is. You are a unique and essential expression of God's qualities. Listen for His guidance, and He will show you the way.