Remember Joe Btfsplk, the sad-eyed guy in the classic "Li'l Abner" comic strip running from 1934 to 1977?
Joe had a heart of gold, but everything he tried failed. He always appeared with a dark cloud over his head; it forever rained on him while everyone else basked in sunshine. Joe was comical, but being a loser is not.
Soon after college, I had a job with a multinational company that offered a high salary and a secure career path. But within a year, project after project I was involved with foundered for some reason. I realized I was becoming a joke among my peer group as a kind of Joe Btfsplk character. I tried to work longer hours at the office and read various training manuals, but the situation continued.
Was I a loser in the making?
After a staff meeting in which my manager announced that because of an unexpected customer demand, we'd be behind schedule, someone from another office asked if I were on the project, and there was some general joking that my presence had jinxed it.
Humiliated, I realized I was so wrapped up in my own rocky self-image that I'd been distracted from something I would have naturally tried to do – think about the situation from a spiritual perspective.
I'd had success in depending on my understanding of God for healing in other situations over the years, so I began to pray. I didn't pray for God to change everything or for me to suddenly and magically be successful, well liked, or sought after.
I embarked on a more attentive study of the Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, who founded Christian Science. I read the first account of creation in Genesis as a vivid description of my own identity and found in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" this emphatic statement, "Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God" (p. 516).
I saw that the "glorified quality" was already attainable. It was inherent in being "coexistent" with God.
My prayers grew more specific and less dreamy, and I began to see that God had already made me capable, diligent, and effective. I didn't have to become these things.
Soon I was offered a chance to work on a project involving a new technology. I loved it, and we finished ahead of schedule and under budget. I found a successful niche for myself within the company.
Thinking of myself as a loser was denying the fact that I reflect God. Each of us, individually and naturally, expresses the intelligence of divine Mind, the equipoise of Soul, the integrity of Truth.
I find I need to turn more and more to the Divine, humbly asking my Creator to feed and guide me. That means setting aside outlines and plans. It means listening to the divine Mind, not to my own little hopes, dreams, and fears. It is a tall order to be so disciplined and involves breaking with old ways of doing things, old thought patterns, or even the expectations of those around us. Then we can accept the "glorified quality" brought by God's presence.
The qualities of God that we reflect are abundant, self-renewing, and specific. That means that nobody is predestined to fail. On the contrary, we all have God's highest rating, His emphatic seal of approval. That means that right now we are all authorized to recognize and accept His love. This acceptance transforms character, sets us to work effectively, destroys the loser mentality, and replaces it with unshakable humility.
And there we are. Crowned with success.
I have called thee
by thy name;
thou art mine.