Hordes of graduates are looking for jobs. If you're one of them, tradition says you are now launching forth for success, prosperity, perhaps even fame. Your goals, however, may be different - to find a job that supports you and where you can do some good. You may want to go to the ends of the earth as a Peace Corps volunteer. Or take time out to care for a sick relative. You may even find a period of being out of full-time work helpful.
The latter worked wonders for me. I look back with profound affection on a long stretch of being gainfully underemployed. It was thinking time, praying time. A time for testing my self-motivation and flexing some creative muscle. A time for throwing my anchor deep into spiritual waters. I did a lot of reading. I became close to characters whose life stories are related in the Bible. I read the works of Mary Baker Eddy, this newspaper's founder, who explored the scientific basis of Jesus' acts.
It was also a time for assessing what I really wanted my future to look like and coming up with some grand aspirations that I haven't yet realized years later. I'm not ashamed of that. I don't feel my efforts have been wasted, because a lot of them have borne unanticipated fruits. By anchoring in spiritual waters, I've found that the waters themselves move in the right direction and are taking me with them. Divine Spirit is like that. Knows where you are going. Knows how to get you there! We are carried by the infinite Love that is God, to and through the waymarks God intends for us. I'm not on the career path I mapped out for myself, but I love what I'm doing. I wish you the same satisfaction.
Society is set up to celebrate winners. Recently, though, I was arrested by a sign that said "Now hiring losers." Would you have applied? I could identify with the crowd being unexpectedly solicited. Being a loser by society's standards isn't always bad. Sometimes it frees us up to be available to talk with people and really listen to them when others are too busy to do so. Sometimes it enables us to pray quietly in beautiful places while others are hurrying to achieve things. I had an awesome period when I would have been described as a loser in everyone's eyes except my mom's. It was a time of great spiritual growth.
A day or two later, the Burger King advertising for losers put the "c" back in place, so the sign properly read "Now hiring closers." A more predictable offer! But for a fleeting instant, the losers had had their moment in the sun.
Don't forget the people society deems losers. Education and training may open doors of opportunity, but they should never close our minds to the needs of people who could use support. Society needs each person's contribution, and God has put the urge in everyone to be an unselfish contributor. If it's through the conventional channels of career, family, community service, then go for it. Whatever activities you find yourself involved in, take time to listen to the inner voice that tells you what it is God wants of you. God is the divine Mind, the creator who knows you better than you know yourself! God's infinite wisdom is always there for you, to guide your career - and your life - in the way that benefits you and the world the most.
God has created each of us for a purpose. Be it conventional or unconventional, we can be all that God designs us to be. So keep remembering that God's love is leading you every step of the way.
God has told you
what is good; and what
is it that the Lord asks of you?
Only to act justly, to love
loyalty, to walk wisely
before your God.
(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor