Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Really Grateful? ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Really Grateful? ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

When I got back the pictures from our summer vacation and looked through the first several shots, I was shocked to see how exhausted and sad I looked. But then, it had been a difficult year.

I had been assigned to a new school where colleagues refused to work together, and I struggled with the most unruly class of my long career. Our only child had left the nest to pursue career goals thousands of miles away. His new schedule wouldn't mesh with mine for the winter holidays, and I anticipated missing him.

My husband had been suddenly laid off, which was distressing enough, but I'd had to turn down a writing workshop I'd very much wanted to take, because we expected to have to move if my husband found a new job. The tension, anxiety, and resentment I'd felt had left me tired and ill most of that year.

I always use part of my vacation time to pray as I read Mary Baker Eddy's book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." The second day of our trip, I wasn't feeling well again, so I stayed behind instead of going on the day trip. I was disappointed to miss it, because our son had joined us, and I wanted to spend every minute I could with my family, but I knew how important it was to make time for prayer.

Asking God to show me what I needed to know, I picked up Science and Health and opened to the first chapter titled "Prayer," which asks the question, "Are we really grateful for the good already received?" Being grateful was part of spirituality, I knew, but it was the following sentence that caught my attention: "Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more."

I asked myself, "What are the blessings that teaching brings me?" I was surprised to find answers flooding in. I enjoyed planning lessons that resulted in students' clearer understanding and rising grades. Even the most disrespectful of my students had improved.

I had enjoyed cheering for my students at athletic games. Most of all, teaching was a profession I was proud of. It gave me opportunities to truly serve and be part of something substantial that benefited my community.

Teaching wasn't a job; it was a complete experience, full of opportunities to do everything I loved - art, charitable work, writing. …

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