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Place, purpose, and opportunity for all

From the December 2, 2019 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel


My career got off to a rocky start. When I graduated from college, a recession and a tight job market meant hundreds of applicants vying for each opening. At a temp agency, a recruiter mocked me for having wasted my time studying the humanities. She gleefully predicted that my peers who had started working after high school graduation would always outearn and outpace me. Yet as I sat there, a spiritual intuition told me I didn’t have to accept her dire prediction about my prospects for a successful career. 

I thought back to the perspective I had gained while attending Christian Science Sunday School, where I discovered the true nature of God and His spiritual idea, man (the spiritual and true identity of everyone), through studying the Bible along with Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. Because a spiritual understanding of God, divine Truth, frees us from limitations, restrictions, and mere human opinions, I wasn’t doomed to a series of dead-end jobs before I had even begun.

Right away I applied this truth to my immediate need for meaningful employment. God, divine Love, who is infinitely loving to all, has only good in store for His children, including a joyous, progressive, fulfilling life. Jesus’ gracious promise to each of us is, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). The unkind prediction that my studies hadn’t prepared me for a suitable career was based on a material view of things, which is inherently limited. I rejected this opinion outright and took the higher, spiritual view of an infinitely abundant, blessed life unfolding under God’s government.

This view starts with God, good, as All-in-all—as supreme, all-power, lovingly and wisely governing His entire creation in perfectly unfolding harmony. Man created in God’s likeness (see Genesis 1:26, 27) is forever spiritual and perfect, inseparable from his creator. And just like Jesus, who explained that he “must be about [his] Father’s business” (Luke 2:49), we, too, can be perpetually active in the business of expressing and reflecting divine Love. 

Man’s place, purpose, and opportunity continually unfold. As the Bible assures us, “We live, and move, and have our being” in God (Acts 17:28), who is divine Spirit. Man’s true place is always in his oneness with divine Love. This place is never subject to rivalry or obsolescence. From this secure standpoint of oneness with God, we hear and obey spiritual intuitions that guide and direct our footsteps unerringly. Understanding oneness with God as present spiritual fact can open doors, cut red tape, quiet fears, and stimulate courage and confidence in good’s all-power and all-presence—regardless of economic conditions; barriers of language, religion, or race; experience and education or lack thereof; or any limiting condition or perception. 

Every child of God has place, purpose, and boundless opportunities.

Man’s true purpose is to reflect divine Love. As we understand this truth and are willing to relinquish outgrown attitudes and expectations, as well as human will, negativity, and undue concern about what others may think, our divine purpose unfolds. Our heavenly Father-Mother God, Love itself, provides us throughout our lives with fresh opportunities to demonstrate our perpetual place of oneness with Love and our constant purpose to reflect Love.

After the incident with the recruiter, I worked at various temp jobs before finally landing my first real job. It wasn’t a good fit, and after being laid off about a year later, I felt gloomy and desperate. I called my Christian Science teacher for prayerful help in finding work. Her love, confidence, and absolute trust in God shone through as we spoke. I felt a renewed sense of hope.

One idea that I appreciated was a simple but powerful truth from Hymn 51 in the Christian Science Hymnal: “Love’s work and Love must fit” (Mary Alice Dayton). Every child of God has place, purpose, and boundless opportunities for the expression and development of God-given talents and abilities. I also liked John 14:2: “In my Father’s house are many mansions: … I go to prepare a place for you.” This lifted the sense of limitation and restriction as I realized that “many mansions” could mean, “There are lots of opportunities for you.” Accepting that a place was prepared especially for me, for my unique, God-given gifts, was humbling, and it inspired deep gratitude for and trust in God’s goodness. The effect of this view was immediate and life-altering.

I again examined the “help wanted” ads in the newspaper, where an ad for a local temp agency caught my eye. I hesitated. I wanted a permanent job, not a temporary one. But I felt a conviction that this was right, so I called.

To my surprise, after learning about my educational background, the recruiter asked me to come for an interview the next day. She said she would like to recommend me as a candidate for a brand-new, one-year management training program at a local computer manufacturer—a program specifically designed for a dozen or so young women with recent degrees in the humanities! At my interview later that week, I learned that the company’s owner wanted to provide these young women with a gateway into the business world. This hand-picked group of high-achieving women with nonbusiness degrees would rotate through various departments to immerse themselves in the business and find the right niche for their talents.

I was accepted for the program, and my new colleagues were kind, generous, and patient, providing me with on-the-job training. I began in a junior position and left the firm about five years later in a senior position in a field that I loved, one in which I continued to broaden and develop my skills at various companies.

Through prayer, the depressing picture from that earlier temp agency interview was reversed. Our circumstances cannot limit or restrict us, because they don’t govern or control us; God, infinite good, alone does. God loves us dearly, and we can trust Him to continually provide for each of us the joyous development of our God-given talents and abilities. God’s loving design ensures place, purpose, and opportunity for all!

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