I Had seen a segment of a television program that focused on unemployment caused by cutbacks in jobs in a particular area, and I was saddened and disturbed. It seemed that for these workers loyalty to a company, years of experience in a certain line of work, and good productivity had suddenly been devalued to the zero point. Finding new employment appeared to be almost impossible. The positions for which they were qualified were unavailable —too many people for too few jobs. Other jobs appeared out of the question because these workers were overqualified for them.
Phased out? Overqualified? There is something you can do about unemployment.
As a Christian Scientist, I felt I couldn't just pass by "on the other side" Luke 10:31. or say "Thank goodness I am not in that situation." I made the time to stop and pray constructively about the critical financial and moral implications of this unemployment situation and about the frustrations it would place on its victims. I knew that spiritual truth repudiates suggestions of insecurity, fear, and lack— anything that would claim to threaten family security and harmony for any of God's children.
I began to pray the Lord's Prayer, which from its first words—"Our Father which art in heaven" Matt. 6:9. —gives us such a wonderful sense of man's unity with his Father. As I prayed I began to see that I had both an opportunity and a responsibility to reach out in love for all mankind. After finishing the Lord's Prayer, I thought about God's law of justice and mercy, which is always operating on behalf of His creation. It was this law that enabled Christ Jesus to feed over five thousand people with five loaves and two fishes. See Matt. 14:15–21 . That which seemed so limited to mortal sight was to spiritual sense a manifestation of infinite substance right at hand. And after all had been fed, twelve baskets of fragments were gathered.
I found myself asking, "Where do our talents and abilities come from?" The answer was something like this: "If God is the creator (and He is), then all intelligence and ability come from Him. Would He give us talents and abilities and then say, 'Sorry, there's no place for you to use that which I have given you'? Indeed not!"
Our loving Father not only gives us needed abilities for active employment but He also provides the opportunity, guidance, and place to utilize them for ourselves and others in satisfying service. A line from a hymn reads, "Love's work and Love must fit." Christian Science Hymnal, No. 51. There can be no gaps, then, to threaten us. Since the infinite divine Mind, God, does not know lapse or limitation, His image and likeness cannot have or express them. Truly, God is our employer, and we are always employed in expressing His infinite intelligence and love.
"Behold," the Bible represents God as saying to the children of Israel, "I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared." Ex. 23:20. And God's angels are here to guide us, also, when we look to Him for help. They speak to us individually the words of comfort and counsel we need. They enlighten our hearts to see what God has prepared for us. No one is left out or forsaken.
God's provision of inexhaustible substance for us is at hand. His divine law brings the individual and his or her work together for a blessing. As Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health, "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need." Science and Health, p. 494.
I had an opportunity to put these and other spiritual ideas into practice when I was out of work and had myself and a child to support. The employment agency looked over my resume and told me I was overqualified for the jobs that were open at that time. They would call me if anything came in. They weren't very encouraging.
They told me I was overqualified .... They would call me if anything came in.
Something I had read in Science and Health brought me encouragement and hope: "The devotion of thought to an honest achievement makes the achievement possible." Ibid., p. 199. To me this meant that I could find the solution through prayer in Christian Science. So I continued praying, confident of God's guidance and control in my affairs. I resolved not to become discouraged but to abide in God's love.
Not long afterward I saw an advertisement for a job. It was listed under the same employment agency I had visited earlier. It wasn't a big listing or a prestigious position, but I felt at once that it was right for me. Convincing the agency was another thing! "You're overqualified for such a job," I was told when I got in touch with them about it. "You'll never be satisfied. You won't make enough money. Your talents won't be used." Finally I persuaded them to give me the name and address of the company.
I was so assured that God's law was operating to bring this "honest achievement" to fruition that the ancient building, rickety elevator, and dim hallway didn't discourage me at all. When I found the office I was greeted by the nephew of the president, and after a brief interview I was hired. Then I was told that although my salary would start right away, my duties wouldn't begin for two weeks—when the company would move into their own new building!
Overqualified? Dissatisfied? No way! Within three months, in addition to receptionist I was secretary to the president, associate editor of their trade publication, editor of a publication for the wives of their agents, and my salary was raised. Later, when I left to move to another city, the four executive officers I had worked with each wanted a copy of the Bible like the one they had seen in my desk! This very happy employment experience was convincing evidence to me that "the devotion of thought to an honest achievement makes the achievement possible." It was truly spiritual thinking and not human classification that determined this employment.
We each can expect the fulfillment of God's promises for us as we devote our spiritual energies to gaining a clearer understanding of God and His Christ, and to acting in accord with our growing vision.
In Isaiah we find this inspiring benediction for those who serve God faithfully: "The Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not." isa. 58:11. This is divine Love's meeting of the human need. This is the Father's unfailing promise of His constant care and provision for us. And we can accept it!