It seems like centuries since I flunked out of college. Am I sorry I didn't stay until I graduated? Sure. But I can tell you honestly that I am now doing the best work I can do. It is suited perfectly to my abilities. Among other things, I occasionally write for this column.
So, what am I trying to say? I am not telling you that not completing what you've set out to do is OK. But on the other hand, we are never beyond God's help in any situation.
Your life is never ruined. If you feel it is, you may be needing to know God better and love Him more. It's a fact that God is with you right now. He made you in His likeness -- wholly good. Perfection characterizes God, and so perfection is not beyond your achieving. But it doesn't come from human ability. It comes through realizing that you're inseparable from God. You can prove this through a willingness to yield to His control, through a commitment and devotion of thought.
God is always helping us. No amount of discouragement can separate us from God. Paul said, according to the book of Romans in the Bible, "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (8:38, 39).
Even though I didn't graduate from college, I was fortunate to have something working in my favor: I had been brought up to love God, and I wanted to make serving Him the focal point of my life.
I did have something to do along the way -- growing, you might call it. A lot of it had to do with humility. When things are not going the way they should, I found, we sometimes have to be humble enough to turn to God. The sincere desire to live up to His standard involves being truthful, exercising good judgment, and listening for Him to give the ideas we need, all the time. We are always working to some end, I realized. Why not work toward perfection?
Mary Baker Eddy discovered Christian Science, which has helped my family to understand God better and to be healed through the teachings of Jesus. This has meant all the difference to me. Together with the Bible, Mrs. Eddy's book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures has enabled me to overcome feelings of failure. Through knowing my unity with God I've found a measure of success in raising a family, in marriage, and in finding work to do that is satisfying. One example of my progress is that I have come to find great joy in solving problems; I no longer shy away from them.
I'm gaining inspiration every day from these words of Jesus: "I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him" (John 8:28, 29). Many people believe Jesus to have been the most successful man who ever walked the earth. His is the best role model of obedience to God that humanity has ever known. A wonderful new beginning for every day of my life is to try to "do always those things that please" God, as Jesus did. Thoughts, motives, pursuits, and actions that please God ensure success.
Sure I am sorry that I was not more successful back in my college days. But then again, what took place at that time is what forced me to learn more about God and about how He made me. And I'm really grateful. If you are already feeling some success in your work, living in accord with God will ensure your continued success. If you feel like a failure, today is just as good a day as any to begin to learn otherwise.
God created no failing sons or daughters. Every one of us reflects His perfection in an individual way. "A deep sincerity is sure of success, for God takes care of it," wrote Mrs. Eddy (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 203). That fact, once understood and practiced, brings success to any good endeavor.
*Articles and features on Christian Science appear in a monthly magazine, The Christian Science Journal.