Everything in my new job was going wrong. An employee in a start-up company, I felt ill-suited to the work, intimidated by a highly assertive boss, and challenged by difficult coworkers. Besides these problems, it didn’t look as if the company would meet its goals, adding further pressure to a bad situation. I figured the only option was to jump ship.
One Saturday afternoon at a pick-up volleyball game, I vented my dissatisfaction to a good friend, hoping he would offer practical tips for moving on. My friend is a good listener, spiritually minded, and successful in business. I was sure he’d sympathize. After pouring out my heart about the—to me—untenable situation, he responded, “Stick to the wreck.”
“What? Oh, no!” I did not want to hear this. A “wreck” is exactly what this job appeared to be, and there was no way I could see myself sticking with it. I felt I was the victim of a bad situation, and this seemed totally unfair!
I reached out to God, genuinely desiring to know what direction to take, and I heard an irresistible message to be receptive to His spiritual ideas.
But the conversation with my friend didn’t leave me. Several days after our volleyball game, the words “Stick to the wreck” came back to me. They were familiar words, from a chapter of a book we both knew well, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. In it the author draws on the metaphor of a mariner at sea in order to illuminate how to deal with difficult circumstances in marriage, and in this case it felt as if there was a valuable point for me in my work. She writes: “When the ocean is stirred by a storm, then the clouds lower, the wind shrieks through the tightened shrouds, and the waves lift themselves into mountains. We ask the helmsman: ‘Do you know your course? Can you steer safely amid the storm?’ He answers bravely, but even the dauntless seaman is not sure of his safety; nautical science is not equal to the Science of Mind. Yet, acting up to his highest understanding, firm at the post of duty, the mariner works on and awaits the issue. Thus should we deport ourselves on the seething ocean of sorrow. Hoping and working, one should stick to the wreck, until an irresistible propulsion precipitates his doom or sunshine gladdens the troubled sea” (p. 67).
I definitely felt like that mariner, in over my head, confused about my position, and thrown mercilessly by circumstances beyond my control. What was my course? Was my only option to leave? Or to stay and endure an impossible situation? I reached out to God, genuinely desiring to know what direction to take, and I heard an irresistible message to be receptive to His spiritual ideas.
The Bible and Science and Health contain insights into how spirituality has a practical, healing effect in daily life. One truth, in particular, came to thought: God, divine Mind, is the only true source of intelligence, motivation, and action; and each individual—my fellow employees and I—is actually an idea in Mind, created to express Mind’s life-giving attributes and to coexist in unity with one another. Needed change in any situation begins with understanding more about the nature of God and God’s creation, and letting one’s thought and life increasingly conform to the divine.
If this was true, and I felt it was, then instead of fearing that there were circumstances beyond my control, I could rely on my growing understanding of God to guide me through this storm to a healing solution. The Bible encourages: “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:6, New King James Version).
Throughout each day I stuck to the truth that divine Mind was actually in control of everything and every person involved, and that I expressed the spiritual qualities of Mind. Identifying with and yielding to such qualities as patience, honesty, and spiritual goodness led me to become more conscientious, discerning, compassionate, and even lighthearted. I also looked for the good in my coworkers, appreciating helpful qualities they expressed, including efficiency, quickness, accuracy, perseverance, insight.
Every time I was tempted to critically judge myself or others, to make comparisons, or to complain, I stopped. Instead, I took the initiative to do what Christ Jesus taught—treat others as I would want them to treat me. The unselfish love exemplified by Jesus expressed God’s impartial love. It brought healing and transformation. I could trust that as I, too, lived to express divine Love more fully, change would come about, even though I couldn’t foresee exactly how.
Striving to manifest higher, God-based qualities not only empowered me but brought a sense of hope. This divine perspective energized, impelled, and directed me. Gradually, I gained more confidence, became more productive, and communicated more easily and caringly with my manager and coworkers. More cooperative ways of working together emerged, solving problems that had before seemed intractable. I felt happier and more useful.
As my thoughts and actions began conforming to the harmony of divine Mind, the company was also gaining clarity about its next steps. In a few months, an announcement was made that our work in its current form would be closed down. My job would end.
Remember that your life is under divine Mind’s intelligent direction.
But the wonderful spiritual healing growth continued! The happiness and fulfillment I felt with coworkers, along with effectiveness and productivity, prepared me to be an active contributor in the ensuing transition.
My boss led the entire staff in a re-employment process, to which I enthusiastically and successfully contributed. We discussed job-search strategies, encouraged and supported one another with tips, contacts, and leads. We cheered each other’s progress. And we cried heartfelt tears when we eventually parted. To my knowledge, every one of the employees found fulfilling employment soon after being laid off. Including me! I moved into a different line of work that was perfectly suited to my interests and skills, and which built on the huge spiritual and practical gains from the previous job.
Are you tempted to feel like the victim in a situation where so much is going wrong and you don’t know what to do or where to turn? Pause. Remember that your life is under divine Mind’s intelligent direction, and as God’s child you, too, reflect the wisdom and spiritual strength of this Mind.
When you let go of human reasoning that says you are a victim, and instead glimpse the spiritual fact of who you truly are and yield to this divinely healing power, consciousness is lifted above the clouds and tempest to a spiritual perspective. You will see divine Mind’s intelligent and loving control operating on your behalf, enabling you to steer a safe—and fulfilling—course.
Access more great content like this
Welcome to JSH-Online, the home of the digital editions of The Christian Science Journal, Sentinel, and Herald. We hope you enjoy the content that has been shared with you. To learn more about JSH-Online visit our Learn More page or Subscribe to receive full access to the entire archive of these periodicals, and to new text and audio content added daily.