Times are changing and cultures are slowly shifting to being more progressive. Sadly, people try to equate progress with a “better” theology that they hope will fit everyone’s preferences. We must accept the fact that the Gospel is very exclusive when it comes to its core foundation – Jesus Christ. Our calling and career, as followers of Christ, should always align with the never-changing and sovereign guidance of God.
WHAT IS YOUR CALLING?
That question has stuck with me for years as I searched deeper into scripture and fell in love with its concepts and systematic approach in living out my life. I am not a Bible scholar, nor a distinguished Bible teacher, just a lover of God’s Word. I don’t claim to have achieved a level of spirituality for me to say this but I am privileged to share a personal perspective. And just like most Christians, it is a struggle understanding our calling – What we are purposed to do!
I remember my dad telling me that he went to Bible School for a year before pursuing Civil Engineering. This at one time was very common. It was a way of preparation before being involved in the secular education system. I know of others in the same age bracket as my dad, who also took a year or two of Bible schooling. This was not a once a week Sunday school type of program. This was a daily intense Biblical training in theology, hermeneutics, anthology, Christology, and many more subjects. It was intentional learning at its best.
Now, we are blessed with the wonders of technology that pave the way for the availability of doctrinal teaching with just a few clicks on our computers. Unfortunately, as information becomes more accessible, the general interest to learn sometimes declines. My generation has seen the inception of the internet and how fast it has advanced. We were excited to see the ease and efficiency in disseminating information. While some churches opposed the online movement, almost comparing it to demonic activities, the on line movement has proven to be an avenue of a more targeted Gospel teaching.
The comparison of the opportunities then and now may have a huge difference, but the power of intentional learning and growing remains the same. Our understanding of what we are called to do depends heavily on our understanding of God’s principles and how they are applicable in our lives. Education may be a factor in our personal growth but God has shown in scripture that even the willingness of the uneducated may be used by God for His glory.
Simply put, I believe that God has called us to live a life of excellence, not just in a specific area of our life, but in everything we do. Our calling is not confined to a specific task. Pastors are called to nurture and teach. Evangelists are called to live a life emanating the Gospel to the lost. Everyone is called to be Christ-like. So, a general pattern has to be achieved as we begin our journey with Christ. Moving forward, we branch out into a specific area where God, in eternity past, has placed us. That is why, at the beginning of this article, I stressed the importance of accepting God’s sovereignty over us.
WILL MY CALLING CONFLICT WITH MY CAREER?
Let’s define what a career is. According to Google, a CAREER is an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress. With this definition, we see the temporary nature of a career. One thing we can take note of is the opportunity for progress. Just like our calling, the career we pursue should push us to progress. That is why, I believe with my whole being that our careers should line up with our calling. Excellence in our everyday living, equates to excellence also in our career. Whether in ministry or in the corporate world, our specific duties and responsibilities make-up our career.
What if you are doing a lot of things at the same time? Then you have a multidisciplinary approach which has been very popular with my generation who are fairly new in solidifying our career paths. Personally, this approach has helped me gain a wide range of skill sets but mastered none of them to a point of efficiency. That’s why, in the last year, I decided to concentrate on a specific area of my career that I feel God wants me to take. Solidifying a career will take a lot of learning and, at some point, external validation that we have attained a level of knowledge that is beneficial to a cause, and at some point, to our specific calling!
A CALL TO ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE AND SPIRITUAL MATURITY
My involvement in Christian Education for over 15 years has impressed on me the value of academic excellence that is rooted in Biblical principles. The School of Tomorrow System has been designed to address this need. From our learning to read programs to our Biblical and academic elective materials, every learning milestone is emphasized with verses and life lessons. The reality of our Christian living is not devoid of secular involvement. We are expected to stand-out in the world. That is why, when we pursue our career, we have to understand how it fits in the over-all scheme of the great commission – our ultimate calling.
Academic growth should always be preceded by spiritual growth. III John 1:2 says “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” The importance of feeding our soul and advancing our core beliefs pushes the well-being of every area of our life. Even Jesus knew the importance of Biblical principles when He told Satan in the midst of great temptation “…‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”(Matthew 4:4). If there’s one thing I would emphasize, it is the importance of our INTENTIONAL PURSUIT OF GROWING IN GRACE!
CALLING AND CAREER
Instead of confusing one with the other, let’s understand that our calling also touches our career path. As we reach a point of influence with the people around us, whether as an educator, pastor, or a parent, we cannot forget to let our calling and career point to Him who has given us every opportunity to receive much grace. Let us encourage our young people to pursue excellence even after they have left the SOT/ACE system. As long as we have done our part properly, and taught them in the way that they should go, the important things will never leave them.