“When did you decide to have a career?” she asked.
What do you mean by “decide”?, I countered.
“Like, when did you decide you wanted to, like, work instead of getting married.”
Never, I told her. I have never considered the work I do to be a career. Neither have I ever decided not to get married.
“Then why do you work?”
I laughed it off, thinking it was obvious–I wanted money to buy blueberries and pizza. But she was serious, so I needed to be, too. Here was my answer:
I never set out to have a career — climbing some corporate or academic ladder to achieve the American dream. Instead, a few Biblical concepts have prodded my decisions in the workplace: What gifts has the Lord given me? (Romans 12, 1 Cor 12) What opportunities are before me? How do those gifts meet the opportunities so that I serve as an ambassador for the Kingdom of God? (2 Cor 5:20) And in everything, will God be glorified? (1 Cor 10:31)
At each juncture along the way, multiple options have been available: Bible College or University (or, if you know my story, farrier school), Alaska or Israel, Master’s or Bethlehem Bible College, get a Doctorate or go broke buying books. . .Except for the latter, any one of those choices might have been good as long as I recognized that the very reason I work (blueberries aside) is that I have a calling to glorify God. That’s my vocation, and really, the very vocation of every follower of Jesus: preacher or packer, mother or matador, skipper or student.
And, asking those same questions, I have taken a new step along that vocation. At 11:30pm last Sunday, I said “Welcome Home” to a Master’s GO team that had just returned from Madagascar. At 8:00am last Monday, I began to work out my calling at Children’s Hunger Fund in Sylmar, California.
I have know about CHF most of my time in California, arranging field trips for students to learn about urban ministry, volunteering with my GO staff to pack food, and networking with educators on a project. And I have appreciated the mission of the organization: “To deliver hope to suffering children by equipping local churches for gospel-centered mercy ministry.” CHF is an international non-profit with the church and the Gospel at its core.
As the Director for the CHF Academy (for training within the organization), I’m looking forward to learning new things and meeting new people and seeing how my gifts and experience can be used in a new opportunity for the glory of God.
Come join me for lunch sometime, and feel free to bring some blueberries.