Following a plan that wasn't mine

A Christian Science perspective on daily life

I had a new job with a small research and development firm located in a split-level, ranch-style house. The staff was friendly and the environment compact and efficient, but after two days I could see that the challenge to my position as office assistant would be - boredom.

I talked with a friend whose counsel I respected, telling her that I thought the best thing for me to do would be to quit. She lovingly recommended that I give the job more time before making a decision to leave. I figured I could do that, so I hung in there, trying in vain to stir up some enthusiasm for the few tasks that were required of me.

Each time the question, "What am I doing here?" would darken my thought, I would remember the words of an author whose writings I had come to love and cherish. "I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing" (Mary Baker Eddy, "The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany," p. 165).

She prefaced this query and its response with these words: "As an active portion of one stupendous whole, goodness identifies man with universal good." I realized that I indeed had a mission, modest as it might be, focusing on what I could "impart" in my present situation.

As I became better acquainted with my job, I found ways to be more useful and productive. I soon began to feel that I was making a fair contribution as a member of this small office team, and my boss seemed to think so, too.

Around this time, my son was helping a local orchardist harvest his apple crop. And one day I brought in a bowl of apples to share with the staff, explaining that my son was apple picking. My boss asked what my son's plans were after the apple-picking season ended. I told him that he didn't have any plans, except to find another job. Despite the fact that my son had no computer skills, my boss said, "Have him come in and see me."

As a result of the ensuing interview, which took place after my son had finished his apple-picking stint, he was offered a post with on-the-job training in the computer field, which he gratefully accepted. I often thought of how different that story might have been had I quit on an impulse after just two days.

But that's not the end.

Although my job turned out to have opportunities for the skills I had to offer, after two years, I felt the need for a change and began watching the help-wanted ads in the local newspaper. Over a period of time, I applied for several positions, but with no results.

Then one day I was contacted by an out-of-state organization I had worked for earlier in my career. I was asked if I'd be interested in applying for an opening that would use a particular skill I had. I assured them I would be and promptly completed the application sent to me.

I was offered the job by return mail. My employer was most supportive of my desire to accept this new post, knowing what the organization meant to me. I gave my two weeks' notice, wrote out guidelines to help the person replacing me, arranged things at home, and was off to a new experience in a familiar city. Undergirding this move were my own prayers to be willingly open to God's direction, coupled with the support and encouragement of friends and family.

Some time has passed since that experience, but its lesson has stayed with me. Whenever I'm tempted to feel discouraged or at a standstill, I recall that lesson.

I cherish what I term the gestation period, looking forward with anticipation to the birth of new ideas. And I wait with certainty, knowing that "Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way" ("Science and Health," p. 454).

And the destination? For me, in my journey Spiritward, I'm learning it's where God, Love, leads me.

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