Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
Several days ago, our puppy jumped on the bed to see if she could get away with a morning snuggle. I was lying on my side, and she burrowed up into my shoulder, wedged between my arm and chest. Of course, she was so cute I allowed her to stay. As I lay there looking at her, it occurred to me that her actions were a perfect metaphor for how I needed to see God.
Lately I'd felt discouraged. I'd unsuccessfully looked for a job because I felt pressured to bring in more money for our family. Recently I've been a freelance writer, but I wondered if I should look for more stable work when jobs weren't coming at the rate I'd hoped. Lying in bed watching our puppy, I was reminded of this quotation in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy: "... our disappointments and ceaseless woes, turn us like tired children to the arms of divine Love. Then we begin to learn Life in divine Science" (page 322).
I definitely felt tired - tired of worrying about the right job, tired of trying to come up with a plan to deal with it, and tired of feeling guilty that I hadn't yet found anything. And, in my tiredness, I was finally ready to turn wholeheartedly to God for an answer.
So, I looked to our little dog as an example that morning. She completely trusted that she was safe and that I wouldn't roll over on her. She was tightly wedged in between my arm and my side. And, she was sound asleep - she wasn't watching with one eye open to make sure I cared for her properly. These were all ways I could turn to God as my ever-present help and Comforter.
• Fully trusting: I asked myself if I was completely trusting God to show me His way. I realized that I was trusting Him only most of the way, most of the time. Time for that to change.
• "Wedged in": Was I closer to God than I thought? Jesus set the example for everyone when he said, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30). Instead of bemoaning my apparent separation from God - thinking perhaps He'd forgotten about me during this trial - I needed to rejoice in the forever fact that God and His creation are inseparable. Mary Baker Eddy wrote, "As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being" (Science and Health, page 361).
• Completely reliant: Just as my puppy wasn't second-guessing me, I saw I needed to stop checking up on God - wondering why the problem wasn't yet resolved, and hoping it would be soon (instead of affirming that God's perfect plan for me is forever in operation). I was watching God with some doubt and uncertainty instead of peacefully.
So, I began to pray in a fresh way. I joyfully acknowledged God as my Father-Mother, who loves me and cares for me every moment of the day. I affirmed that He wants only good for me and everyone. I reasoned that I couldn't truly be discouraged because that would essentially negate my prayers about God's goodness and ever-presence. I gratefully acknowledged that God was comforting me, loving me, and guiding me - even if I hadn't yet seen the results of God's care in regard to the current situation.
When I finished praying, I felt so peaceful. I felt close to God - wedged in with Him in thought - and I knew that I trusted Him completely to show me the way. The fear, doubt, worry, and guilt simply lifted. I rejoiced in my changed outlook and thanked God for helping me.
Later that day, three ideas for freelance articles came to me. These new ideas energized me and inspired me to continue writing instead of looking for another job. I now feel grateful instead of worried, confident instead of doubtful, and joyful instead of sad. That's the best part about my new take on employment.
In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed:
deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me;
deliver me speedily:
be thou my strong rock,
for an house of defence
to save me.
Psalms 31:1, 2