Summer Job

A spiritual look at issues of interest to young people

"Don't come home without one!" Those were the last words my mother spoke as I left my house and walked to the bus stop. (If you'll be needing work this summer, it's probably not too early to start looking. Maybe my own story will be helpful.)

I got off the bus in the middle of town, and started hunting. But soon I felt I needed a better approach than just desperate searching, one that would bring more certain results. I stopped and prayed-that is, I asked God for direction. God created us with purpose, I realized, and that purpose is to express Him.

At first I didn't think I had much to offer an employer. But I knew I had my loving nature, which was from God. I was honest. I knew honesty is a quality of God and that honesty would be an important quality to an employer. Part of being honest is being industrious on the job, really giving it everything you've got.

"God is love," as the Bible says (I John 4:8). Part of being God's expression is being courteous and helpful to others and being thoughtful about the way you look, so people will know you care about them. It isn't so much what you do in your work that counts, but how you do the job. Even the most insignificant-looking work becomes important when it is done with love and honesty. Whether you are baby-sitting, working in a fast-food joint, or washing windows, whatever it is you are given to do is highly important. Why? Because it holds the opportunity to show the world that you express God.

As I prayed, I began to know that God would show me how to find a good place to work that summer. The first "help wanted" sign I saw was in the window of a store that sold fine furs. I wasn't too sure they would want someone like me. Also, they only wanted people for one week-I needed a job that lasted all summer. But I felt led to go ahead and apply (at least that way I might go home with a job that night!).

The owner put us way back in tiny dressing rooms, where it was really hot. Hand addressing envelopes-that's what I did, all day long, all week long. I heard a lot of complaints from the other people I was working with. My index finger got pretty sore from writing. But I resolved to be grateful for this work and not to complain. I tried to work fast and cheerfully and not to make mistakes. I wrote as beautifully as I could. I guess you could say I felt like the light God was shining into those back rooms.

Well, at the end of the week I was the only one who got hired for the summer. I had not known it, but there was a quality sportswear section in that store. I was proud to work there. The store also hired me the next summer. It had really worked for me to ask for God's help.

God gives only good. You are good because He made you. As God's child, expressing His nature, you are already an asset to any future employer. It's when you really acknowledge this as a fact-know that you are God's son or daughter-that you prove that God alone gives you all the qualities you need, today and every day, to find and do a super job. Who wouldn't want you?

By the way, you can expect to be paid fairly. The Bible says, "The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust" (Ruth 2:12).

Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, who founded the Christian Science Church, gives a good description of the identity of each child of God, yourself included. It says we are "the compound idea of God, including all right ideas" (p. 475). Some of those "right ideas" you include are intelligence, integrity, creativity, strength, and understanding, qualities you need to do any kind of work effectively. Having a way to get lunch, having the proper clothes to wear, the needed transportation, and that fair compensation for the kind of quality work you are going to do-these are "right ideas," too. You have them from God already.

God is with you always, and His influence in your life will help you wherever you are. Looking for it is the most important job of all.

In a weekly magazine called the Christian Science Sentinel, you'll find other articles about prayer.

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