Happiness is more than a job

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

"And what are you doing now?" friends were always asking me when I was trying to find my niche in the job market. I had been through more jobs than I cared to admit. I was looking for the perfect job.

Finally the job market dried up, and the only work I could find was just about the last thing I wanted to do. I was on my own typing aviation reports (which I didn't understand) from morning until evening in a drab, outdated office.

The only redeeming feature was that I had a kind boss who needed my help. After many months, I felt despondent and didn't think I could carry on in that situation any longer.

I'd just started studying Christian Science and reached out to God for a message. The answer I got was most unexpected. "You've got to love everything in this office - everything you do and everything you look at." I was surprised, but felt I must follow those instructions.

So the idea came that I should clean the desk both inside and out, clean out the storage cupboard, and bring in fresh flowers. I also rehung the aviation charts on the wall, and even they looked better. I began to feel a sense of lightness, even happiness and contentment.

Soon after, my boss came in one morning and said, "I've decided to renovate your office and shall be buying you a new desk and new equipment." He added that he was going to give me time off several times a week so that I could rehearse for an activity I was involved in. Very soon after this I was able to move on from that job, and my boss found someone else to look after the office.

That experience was a turning point in my life. After that, I never minded what work I did. I had seen that expressing care, interest, order, and even creativity - had become my job. The activity of the job, typing aviation reports, was not the whole of it.

In thinking about that experience later, I saw the value of seeing ourselves as a "radiator" rather than a "receptacle." In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mary Baker Eddy wrote: "God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis" (page 258). She doesn't say God expresses "a bit," but "the infinite idea." Therefore it's God who does the expressing infinitely, and we, as His creation, who do the radiating. Being a "receptacle," however, implies waiting for something to be brought into one's life - a job, people, or possessions. It's not a question of waiting for something to come to us, but knowing that God is expressing in us right now the qualities we need for contentment and satisfaction.

One word for happy in the original Hebrew in the Bible is blessed. So each day we can expect to be blessed - to be happy - in whatever we're doing. Whether we're in or out of a job, our real work is to bring more of the spiritual qualities of God into everything we do - taking out the trash or feeding the cat. We'll discover that both jobs can be done with style and grace, and, more important, we can even feel happy doing them.

Mary Baker Eddy wrote, "... we must act as possessing all power from Him in whom we have our being" (Science and Health, page 264). When we're "acting as possessing" God's power, we're reflecting all the good that God is giving. To me, expressing the qualities and living the qualities are actually living the truth of being, a life of joy and happiness. The more practiced we are in expressing these qualities, the happier we feel.

It's so helpful when we're feeling low to magnify even the tiniest bit of good. No matter how small, if we see it and we rejoice in it, love it, and let it grow inside us, it's easier to find another bit of good. We can acknowledge that we can be happy now instead of waiting for a time when happiness will come.

Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is
the day of salvation.

II Corinthians 6:2

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