"All we do is dig in a ditch to earn money to buy bread to keep up our strength to dig in a ditch." This kind of cynical description of human life is certainly not true of all of us; but it does sum up the daily lives of far too many human beings, and probably most of us at one time or another have felt it just about sums up ours.
How different from this drab picture is the purpose of creation as given in the Bible: "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." Rev. 4:11; God's glorious purpose and pleasure for His creation cannot be an endless cyclical round of unfulfilling tedium.
A belief that too often traps people into unhappy employment is the assumption that finding right occupation and ensuring enough income are necessarily interdependent. This is by no means so. The belief in such interdependence is likely to lead us either into unsatisfying occupation, even though the monetary rewards are sufficient, or into employment that would be satisfying if only the remuneration weren't so meager. The sooner we recognize the distinctness of obtaining right employment and of finding sufficient supply, the sooner we are likely to have both.
Cities, and particularly inner cities, are today commonly identified as centers of unemployment or poverty. Yet a hymn says of the city of God, which is the true city and home of us all:
See, the streams of living waters,
Springing from eternal Love,
Well supply thy sons and daughters,
And all fear of want remove. Christian Science Hymnal, No. 71;
What are these "streams of living waters" that remove all fear of lack? They certainly include a spiritually scientific understanding of what Life really is, an understanding that the source both of our substance and activities is the divine Life, God, the loving Father-Mother of us all. Surely it is to this brimming spiritual sense of being that Christ Jesus referred in his words, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:10;
The basis of a true economy, whether as regards income or employment, must be a spiritual sense of both. Christian Science shows that God, Spirit, is the divine Principle of all that truly exists; and that this divine Principle creates, activates, supplies, and sustains all that really goes on. Economics of shortage or scarcity have no place in this limitless spiritual universe. Sufficiency of substance and of right activity is not a limited cake to be divided up, so that what one receives must be at the expense of another. In the universe of Spirit there is limitless abundance for all.
As sons and daughters of God, as individual ideas in the one divine Mind or intelligence of the spiritual universe, we each of us include and express all good directly from God, who is Himself all good. This means we include all substance, whether it appears humanly as money income, food, shelter, clothing, transport, or whatever else is required to maintain an appropriate style and standard of living for a single person or for one with family responsibilities. We also include all the abilities, capabilities, and intelligence that will lead us humanly into satisfying and worthwhile occupation.
But here is the essential point: we include the ideas that are seen humanly as bringing us supply and the ideas that are seen humanly as bringing us occupation—all of them coming direct from their one source, from divine Mind. As the Bible says, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." James 1:17; All ideas come direct from unfailing divine Principle without being interdependent or conditional on one another. And so it is with the human appearing.
On the daily scene the main channel through which our income reaches us may be our job. In choosing our occupation we may properly take into account the financial rewards offered. But human and material calculation by itself constantly disappoints; and careers chosen on such basis too often come to little or nought.
Mrs. Eddy writes: "The talent and genius of the centuries have wrongly reckoned. They have not based upon revelation their arguments and conclusions as to the source and resources of being,—its combinations, phenomena, and outcome,—but have built instead upon the sand of human reason." Unity of Good, p. 9.
The choice of our careers is too important to be built solely on "the sand of human reason." In making our original choice of career or in deciding on a change of career at some later stage we need to listen for intuitions from God and to obey these. Doing this, we can be sure God will care for our supply. It may come as direct payment for our work but also through utterly unforeseen channels in totally unexpected ways; certainly it will come. As we follow divine leadings, God will care for our every need.
Finally, an occupation so chosen and furthered will be accompanied by what is most important of all in a human life—continuing spiritual growth.