Wanted: a way to serve my community
After several years of being out of the mainstream work force, I decided I would like to serve my community in some capacity. I had tried a few things in the past but hadn't found my niche. I made an effort to turn my desires over to God, the one Mind or intelligence who knows all of our needs and supplies them. I felt reassured by this statement by Mary Baker Eddy, who founded this newspaper: "Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires..." ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 1). I trusted that God would guide me as to what steps I should take. I just had to watch and listen.
Jesus, the Way-shower, prayed several times a day - listening for God's direction. My prayer acknowledges and affirms God's goodness, His presence, intelligence, and meticulous care for all of His children. Prayer, to me, is not begging or imploring. It is becoming aware of what is true about our relationship to God.
One day, as I was reading through our local newspaper, I spotted a small advertisement from a volunteer center. They said they were looking for people to help in a wide range of activities, including assisting children with their reading, and they welcomed any inquiries. The idea of working with children appealed to me, and with my passion for reading, I knew I was on to something that could be a perfect fit. I ripped the ad out of the paper and stuck it on my bulletin board.
I didn't spring into action for another couple of months, however, because each time I reached for the piece of paper, I was suddenly plagued with doubts. The notion that I shouldn't tie myself down to a regular commitment made me wonder if I should get involved at all. I began envisioning all sorts of complications. But another passage from Science and Health set me back on track: "Giving does not impoverish us in the service of our Maker, neither does withholding enrich us" (pg. 79). I had certainly proven over the years the rewards of selflessness. I'd found goodness to be self-perpetuating. I knew that I could trust my Father-Mother God to put me in a place where everyone concerned would be blessed. And that I could leave all the details to His infinite wisdom. When I felt at peace, I made my phone call.
I'm now in my fourth year of helping seven- and eight-year-olds with their reading, and it's a most rewarding and enjoyable activity. Once a week, my students and I sit outside on chairs under a gum tree and have class. Each child reads from the text, then we do some spelling using my portable blackboard. And they are now learning to use the dictionary. We have a happy little group, and the children are always eager to learn something new. Though I've never had children of my own, nor have I had any teaching experience other than Sunday School, the ideas for keeping the classes stimulating come effortlessly as needed.
We can feel free to turn to God with all of our cares - whether we're looking for employment, companionship, or a place to live. Nothing is outside of His bailiwick. Harmony is the natural state of creation. That means there is a supply for every demand and vice versa. We can trust this principle and expect to see the results.
I mean not that other
men be eased, and ye
burdened: but by an equality,
that now at this time your abundance may be a supply
for their want, that their abundance also may be a
supply for your want: that
there may be equality.
II Corinthians 8:13, 14