"CATERPILLAR'S JOB CUTS HIT 20,000." "GM Announces 2,000 Job Cuts." "Phillips Electronics to shed 6,000 workers." "Home Depot retrenchment cuts 7,000 positions." "IBM Slashes 2,800 Jobs In Sales, Software Units."
These headlines were not compiled from last month's or even last week's news. They are all, as I write, from today's headlines. The global economic picture is darkening. A lot of people need jobs. And finding a job during a recession filled with layoffs and cutbacks is daunting. But, there is light that can break through this dark view. I've found that a persistent, prayer-inspired approach cancels the fear and negative forecasts. When God takes the lead in an employment search, wonderful things do happen.
"COMPLETENESS, ABUNDANCE, AND SATISFACTION ARE QUALITIES OR STATES OF DIVINE LIFE, WHICH EVERYONE POSSESSES BY REFLECTION."
THE DESIRE TO GIVE
First of all, there's a striking difference between "I need to get" and "I desire to give." I've found that if my motive is to get, I am, in effect, saying that I do not have. My thoughts and actions start from a foundation of lack and weakness. Behind the "I need to get" thought is an acceptance that God can't or won't provide income, fulfillment, and purpose.
The more I've learned about God, however, the more I've seen that God does give us everything. Prayer reveals a new inspired view of employment and shows that instead of being without a job, each and every one of us is always employed. God employs each of us as witnesses to His goodness and grace. He employs us to express His abilities. He's the real source of the very qualities that make us employable. Want doesn't glorify God. And weakness denies, rather than reveals, His confidence and power.
To let God take the lead in a job search is to understand, in some degree, that God, who is Spirit, has always been leading each of us—His spiritual children. But He doesn't lead us as we might lead a horse to water. God leads by reflection. As Sentinel founder Mary Baker Eddy explained in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "As the reflection of yourself appears in the mirror, so you, being spiritual, are the reflection of God. The substance, Life, intelligence, Truth, and Love, which constitute Deity, are reflected by His creation ..." (p. 516).
When a person's motive is to offer the wisdom, peace, strength, order, and goodness he or she reflects from God, an employer will accept her or him as a valuable part of the team. Employers desire—in effect, are praying for—strong and competent workers. Wouldn't you?
For ten years, my brother Kevin and I booked shows for a band we performed in. The band members, road crew, and their wives and children all looked to us for income. If we didn't perform, there was no income. At first, the calendars on the wall were blank many times. This was when I learned to let God take the lead. My brother and I found concert promoters using our band because we were reliable and honest. In our prayers for the band and our roles in it, we cherished the fact that we reflected those very qualities. Our desire was to give. During those ten years, the calendars filled in. The band played 200 shows a year, and I attribute that entirely to prayer.
Every job seeker wants to come across as impressive and productive, not weak or undesirable. As I learned during those road years, true inspiration and strength come with the understanding of God and your position as His spiritual reflection.
When understood and consistently practiced, Christian Science individualizes God's power, expressed as the Christ, in our lives. Jesus completely expressed the Christ throughout his ministry. It was not the man Jesus, but the eternal Christ that was and is the healer of sin and disease, as well as the restorer of all the good in life that appears to have been taken away. Even a little spiritual and Christly fiber makes for a strong and valuable worker.
Writing from her own experience, Mrs. Eddy observed that "business men and cultured scholars have found that Christian Science enhances their endurance and mental powers, enlarges their perception of character, gives them acuteness and comprehensiveness and an ability to exceed their ordinary capacity. ... A knowledge of the Science of being develops the latent abilities and possibilities of man. It extends the atmosphere of thought, giving mortals access to broader and higher realms. It raises the thinker into his native air of insight and perspicacity" (Science and Health, p. 128). What God is, we reflect, and this is how God leads.
No one has to understand all of God's infinite majesty in order to be led by God. A simple turning to Him allows His full might to lift us to see and experience more of His order and activity.
Recently, I met a woman on a plane who was on a job search. She was flying to Houston, Texas, to interview with a law firm. It was a prestigious firm, and she really wanted the job. She knew nothing about Christian Science, so I shared with her what I'd been learning. Instead of thinking that she needed to get a job, I suggested that she try cherishing that she was already complete and satisfied because she reflected God. I also recommended that she look for the goodness of God that both she and those she spoke with in the interview room expressed. This would let her know that God was right there leading her. Already, I could see that God had always employed her to express His dynamic spiritual qualities. She was God's spiritual reflection, and God is Love.
The woman told me later she really thought about what I'd shared with her. She looked for what she could love about the interviewer. She remembered I'd told her that if, for example, the interviewer put all her pencils neatly in order, she could appreciate that and feel genuine love for it. As we recognize God's grace and order, we're more aware of Love's powerful, governing presence. She told me that during the interview, she noticed the interviewer had beautiful eyes, so she loved that quality and felt God's presence right there in the room. She later reported that she got the job and thanked me for my help.
IN THE RIGHT LINE OF WORK
Another wonderful aspect of letting God lead, I find, is that we stop working for the wrong company! Letting God take the lead, we discover the powerful and loving Boss we have, and we stop chasing after unproductive thoughts that attempt to manage our lives and lead us in the wrong direction. Thoughts that suggest failure, self-doubt, worry, limitation, and resentment are not from God, the one divine Mind, and therefore cannot constitute reality. They originate from the carnal mind—or the lie and the liar as the Bible calls it (see John 8:44). Such thoughts tempt us to live a lie instead of reflect divine Truth. Doing so lends the illusion of reality to that which is completely unreal. For, in fact, it's impossible for us as God's reflection to think, act, or experience what God cannot know or create.
Understanding God's allness and goodness, and our place and position as His dynamic self-expression, enables the job seeker to see through each lie that attempts to impose itself on one's thinking. The creations of divine Truth can't be made to accept a lie about themselves, or to identify anyone else with a quality so unlike God.
When it comes to feeling left our, unsure, or worried, I've found it helps to allow God to guide with His inspired Word:
- "I will bless you [with abundant increase of favors] and ... you will be a blessing [dispensing good to others]" (Gen. 12:2).
- "I am with you and will keep (watch over you with care, take notice of) you wherever you may go, and ... I will not leave you until I have done all of which I have told you" (Gen. 28:15).
- "I will be with your mouth and will teach you what you shall say" (Ex. 4:12).
- "I will appoint a place for My people ..." (I Chron. 17:9).
- "I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way that you should go" (Isa. 48:17). (above verses from the Amplified Bible)
AS WE GIVE, WE GAIN
Each of us is, right now and always, God's immortal reflection—the way in which Love is showing off its satisfaction and completeness. A story I know illustrates this fact. As I've heard it told, a man asks a foreman at a construction site for a job. The foreman says to the man, "See this boulder? Push it up that hill and roll it back down again."
The man replies, "You've got to be kidding!"
"Well, I thought you wanted a job," says the foreman.
"I don't really need a job," the man answers. "What I truly need is money."
"Why didn't you say so?" the foreman says as he reaches in his wallet and gives the man a $20 bill. "But don't spend the money," he adds.
"Well, I don't really need money. What I actually need are food and clothes for my family," the man confesses.
"Why didn't you say so?" the foreman says, reaching for his wallet. He hands the man more money. "Go buy the food and the clothes. But don't eat the food and don't wear the clothes."
"Well, we don't really need the food and the clothes. What we truly need is to be satisfied and complete."
"Why didn't you say so in the first place!"
In other words, completeness, abundance, and satisfaction are qualities. They are states of divine Life. which everyone possesses by reflection. All the rest—the job, the money, the food, and the clothes—are symbols of God's presence and completeness.
Jesus taught: "Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? ... for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6:31-33). When we allow God to lead, whatever is needed will appear in just the way that satisfies us. Jesus further explained, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32).
I've found that if you're truly grateful for God's goodness and love, no matter how dark things look, you'll discover even more of His majesty and tenderness. There's a lot of truth in the statement that circumstances and opportunities do not create gratitude, but rather that gratitude creates circumstances and opportunities. "Are we really grateful for the good already received?" asks Science and Health. "Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more" (p. 3).
When your desire is to give, to bless others with what you reflect of God, your Father-Mother gives even more. As you give, you gain.
FOR MORE ON THIS TOPIC
To hear Keith Wommack speak on this topic, tune in to Sentinel Radio during the week of February 28-March 6, 2009. For a listing of broadcast locations and times, go to www.sentinelradio.com. To purchase a download of this radio program, #909, go to www.sentinelradio.com and click on Audio Download Store.
Keith Wommack practices and teaches Christian Science healing in Corpus Christi, Texas.