Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Graduation ... Then What?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Graduation ... Then What?

Article excerpt

I remember that last day of college so clearly. We sat in an outdoor amphitheater in our black gowns, wedged between our fellow classmates, anticipating the moment when we would fling our mortarboards into the blue. As we gazed up into the sunshine and watched the caps fly, we celebrated the infinite possibilities before us.

I also recall, however, the barrage of question marks that my friends and I faced. Will I succeed in my career? What kind of job will I be able to find? What do I even want to do? High school seniors, too, face myriad questions, whether heading to a new school experience or into a work environment.

I found that what helped settle those persistent questions was to clarify my motives. Continually! Rather than ruminating so much on the "what" or "where" aspects of the road ahead, I strove to zoom in on the "why" - whether I was choosing a major in college or negotiating the twists and turns of my first job experience. I would ask myself: "Why do I like this activity?" "Why am I here?" My responses often included these powerful infinitives: to serve, to share, to express, to bless.

As a Christian Scientist, I knew that spiritualizing my motives - making them less selfish - would rescue me from a limiting, "me- centered" approach and point me toward a "Thee-centered" or God- centered one. I could better connect to God's plan for me and to my spiritual, unlimited nature as His offspring. God, our divine Principle, needs each one of us to manifest and glorify His character, His dominion, goodness, and excellence. When our desires are honest and pure, we can't help being guided and supported by our heavenly Father-Mother God, the one divine intelligence, or Mind. Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, wrote, "Right motives give pinions to thought, and strength and freedom to speech and action" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 454).

Four years earlier, after graduating from high school, I'd had similar questions about my future and was anxious about the demands ahead. But I'd found great comfort in this passage from the Bible: "One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple" (Psalms 27:4). That may not sound like anything that relates to college, but to me at the time, it underscored my priorities. Deep down, I wanted to live in God's presence, to learn more about His beautiful creation, and to expand my ability to glorify Him in everything I did.

My ultimate purpose then was to bear witness to God's love, intelligence, and understanding. I endeavored to see every challenge - including the privilege of performing a piano concerto with a visiting orchestra - as an opportunity to glorify God, divine Love. …

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