Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Our Approval Rating ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Our Approval Rating ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

There I sat, feeling that I was in way over my head. This interview was the first of a battery of meetings and tests for a select training program. The problem was, I didn't fit its requirements - at least on paper.

You might wonder how I came to be there. The answer is prayer - a humble, open searching of God's will for me. I believe in God's tender interest in the well-being of each one of us. That His allness includes an intimate knowledge of the goodness and value of every member of creation. That God's loving purpose for us is wrought in ways that match our needs and natures.

So I followed the strong impetus to apply. But acting further on my prayer was difficult. What was I doing there? I wasn't sure.

Some soul-searching was in order. Was my motive selfless? Yes. I desired to serve in ways that made better use of my qualities and proven skills. Was I willing to let this opportunity pass if my prayer led me in a different direction? Absolutely. I'd won the struggle over wanting something whether it seemed right or not. Did I have the courage to follow my spiritual intuition wherever it took me? I thought so.

Finally, one lone doubt remained: While perhaps God had led me to this point, the officials in charge hadn't bought into my application. They were considering it largely because of legal requirements relating to gender, but it was clear they didn't expect or desire that I measure up to the position. I held no graduate degree, I lacked specialized experience in this field, and all but one of the trainees in the program's history had been male.

As I continued my spiritual listening, a phrase came to thought: "endorsed pre-eminently by the approval of God." Instantly I understood. Rather than needing the endorsement of any other person, I had God's approval. He loves me just as He created me, just as I am.

My fear dissolved so completely that the next four months of interviews were marked by collegiality, respect, and an increasingly warm welcome. I could now consider the training opportunity without anxiety or longing and to honestly explain that I was interested in the program only if it were a good fit for everyone concerned. …

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