Don't disqualify yourself

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

When facing a difficult task, it sometimes feels all too natural to doubt your ability to get the job done. "Will I have enough time, intelligence, resources, strength, creativity, inspiration, poise, or grace to make this happen?" When those questions barrage you, it's tempting to disqualify yourself at the outset - to quit even before you get started.

But such reasoning misses a fundamental fact that unerringly pre- qualifies each one of us to achieve whatever we need to do. That fact is that we are God's work, His spiritual ideas, and as such we are the full expression of all of His attributes. God's work is forever complete and fulfilled. We don't have to generate the ability to succeed; we just have to be willing to be obedient to God's expression of us and to refuse to argue for our own inability and thus unwittingly disqualify ourselves.

The Bible reassures: "Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee" (Jer. 32:17). And it promises: "Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth" (Isa. 40:26).

The founder of this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote: "Science reveals the possibility of achieving all good, and sets mortals at work to discover what God has already done; but distrust of one's ability to gain the goodness desired and to bring out better and higher results, often hampers the trial of one's wings and ensures failure at the outset" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," page 260).

A couple of months ago I learned a lesson about not disqualifying myself. Rain was pouring down in buckets one cool evening in early May. While snugly in my kitchen making dinner, I was fretting about the task ahead that evening. A college professor had invited me to address her class, but had neglected to give me the name of the building and classroom on the large university campus where the class would be held. She hadn't responded to my e-mails or phone calls. So now I wasn't even sure whether she was still expecting me. It was tempting not to go out on this rainy night, but this was an important opportunity for me, and it was also something that I knew could help this class of college students.

Then I remembered how this whole opportunity had come up in the first place. It had felt like an unsolicited gift from God. I'd been praying about how I could share my work with more people, and this invitation to speak to the class felt like a response to that prayer. So I prayed again and listened for what I should do about the talk that evening. This is the answer I heard: "Just don't disqualify yourself. If you'll be obedient enough to go, God will take care of the rest."

It seemed like such a long shot, with so many buildings on that dark campus, the rain pouring down, a heavy box of books to carry, so many classrooms, and nobody in the offices or reception desks at that time of night. But I'm learning to trust the spiritual intuitions that come from God, and I figured that simple obedience was the least that I could bring to this effort. My husband agreed to come with me to help with the books.

We drove to the campus and asked the first student we saw for information. She gave us several suggestions but nothing definitive. As I continued praying, I chose a certain building to try first. When inside, we heard voices. We walked toward the voices, and there was the right classroom.

The teacher was expecting me, and what followed was not just the one hour of planned presentation, but two hours including lively discussion and questions. I came away renewed, invigorated, inspired, and humbly grateful that I had not disqualified myself. God had indeed taken care of everything.

No matter what difficult assignment you may be facing, God has pre- qualified His children to express Him fully. Silencing the negative, belittling arguments and being willing to follow the intuitions coming from God lead you forward. You don't have to know how it will all work out in order to get started, but one thing is certain: God will be guiding each step of the way and will provide the courage and the wisdom to accomplish the task.

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