The path to meaningful employment

After moving to another country and struggling to find work, one woman experienced how turning to God for guidance brings inspiration that lights the way forward.

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Have you ever been between jobs and felt frantic about it? I have! I remember asking myself, “What if I can’t find meaningful employment?” I felt insignificant and unfulfilled. And furthermore, how would I pay my bills?

Sometimes it’s hard to see a way forward, but I’ve found help and hope in what I’ve learned in Christian Science of the nature of God, including the fact that God is all-knowing and all-wise. This higher power, perceiving infinitely more than we can from our human viewpoint, is a loving, caring presence we can depend on even in the most uncertain of situations.

The Bible, which has been my navigator and guide through life’s greatest challenges, teaches us: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5, 6). Our greatest wisdom is in turning to God for guidance.

Eighteen years into my career as an early childhood educator, I found myself without a job. My husband and I had moved to Hong Kong, where we had been warned that despite my experience as the director of a school of 200 children, job opportunities for me would be slim. Indeed, that appeared to be the case, and at first I could only find occasional work at a minimal wage.

Instead of being frustrated or fearful, I turned for guidance to the one source of all wisdom – God, the divine Mind. I had learned from experience that putting God first always puts us on the right path.

I reasoned that my purpose in life was to glorify God by expressing the divine nature, which includes qualities such as intelligence and joy. In fact, God’s goodness is expressed in all of us as His spiritual sons and daughters, without measure. God provides each of us with ample opportunities to express all His qualities – not just a small portion of them. This in turn benefits others, thus fulfilling the two great commandments Christ Jesus pointed out: to love God and to love our neighbor.

This made perfect sense to me and was a great comfort. I knew I could trust in God’s power and presence, even though I was in a new country and had no idea where to turn for help.

As I prayed, the thought came to look for work in the local newspaper. This was counterintuitive to me. I hadn’t intended to do this, as most of the opportunities were not open to foreigners. Nonetheless, I followed through on this inspiration. Immediately, a little two-line ad caught my eye: “General manager needed for six preschools, Montessori and traditional.”

I have to admit, I was surprised! That was precisely my expertise. I called the number in the ad and was told to come in immediately for an interview. I met with the manager of these six schools, who said she’d been looking for six months for someone to take her place, and had all but given up on finding someone. And then it had come to her to put one more ad in the newspaper. And that was the ad I’d seen.

As soon as we started talking, we both knew we had found what we were looking for, and we were equally grateful. In a matter of days I began the job, which was challenging and fulfilling and opened many doors for me in that country.

Interestingly enough, though, being in that position didn’t match the satisfaction and joy I felt in experiencing that we truly can rely on God for guidance, even in life-changing situations.

God, divine Mind, always has so much more good in store for us than we could ever imagine or outline for ourselves. As a verse in the Bible says, “Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).

Adapted from a testimony published in the September 2018 issue of The Christian Science Journal.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.