Changes in the job market as a result of advances in technology may make us question our individual worth. If machines can do all the work better and faster, what are we good for? And if we’re facing the need to find new employment or a whole new line of work, we may wonder: Am I too old to learn a new skill? How can I find the money to pay for training? Will anyone want to hire me?
Reassuring answers to questions such as these can seem out of reach as long as we’re looking at employment only from a material perspective. But I’ve found in Christian Science a radically different way to think about the various aspects of life, including employment – one that doesn’t include accepting the limits imposed by a merely material sense of life, but involves accepting the idea that each of us is God’s spiritual idea, always beloved and in our right place.
I’ve found ideas in the Bible invaluable in understanding our innate worth. Christ Jesus said of our value to God: “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29-31).
Jesus taught that the basis of our being, our reason for existing, is to wholeheartedly love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. It’s also the requirement to experience God’s promise of loving care, protection, and provision. Our enduring “job,” then, is to love God and express His love. Indeed, this is our only real career. We exist to shine forth with His glory.
This divinely bestowed purpose can never be lost. It’s untouched by the limits associated with a material sense of existence, for there are no limits on divine Love or its expression. God, Love, is ageless, doesn’t wear out, and will never be obsolete.
Whatever our human circumstances, spiritualizing our sense of employment is itself a kind of employment that can bring healing, as both my husband and I experienced when we made midcareer transitions.
Initially my husband ran a family-owned business. It was very successful for many years, but then the product they made was no longer popular. Eventually the business closed.
As we both prayed to know the proper steps to take, an idea from “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” by Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy, brought a wonderful sense of comfort and peace. It says: “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need” (p. 494).
We felt our needs being met step by step as my husband was able to earn his PhD and move into a new career in higher education. He is now a college professor. The full transition took more than 10 years, but all along the way, as we were learning more about loving God and our neighbor, different jobs came our way that met our financial requirements.
The beginnings of my own transition to a new career happened about midway in my husband’s career change. I had started out as a computer programmer, but because of advances in technology, there came a point at which I needed to retool. I opened my thought to becoming a Christian Science practitioner, someone who helps others find healing through prayer. The complete way forward wasn’t clear at that time, but as I prayed and learned more about God’s loving, caring nature, I felt inspired to pursue this path and am now in this full-time healing ministry.
During these transitions, we incurred a large credit-card debt. I was greatly helped by pondering this line from the Lord’s Prayer: “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). Science and Health gives a spiritual sense of the Lord’s Prayer, in which this line is interpreted as “And Love is reflected in love” (p. 17). My prayer was to see divine Love expressed all around me.
Not long afterward, the debt was paid in a way we couldn’t have foreseen. This experience continues to inspire our family when working out financial concerns.
Divine Love is always revealing to each of us unique opportunities to express the qualities of God. Listening for Love’s direction on how to express love to benefit others results in rewarding employment. We may not know what our future employment will look like, but we can be certain that as we employ ourselves in living our divine purpose, divine Love will consistently meet our need. Divine Love is never obsolete, and we as Love’s expression are always needed.
Adapted from an article published in the May 29, 2017, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.