Friday, October 26, 2012

Life isn't about the money

I have noticed that these days I am reading less but the things I am reading I read more slowly and think about more. I have been doing that with 'A travellers guide to the kingdom' and it's been a real blessing. It is also interesting just as I am pondering faith, work and the Dorothy Sayers essay 'Why work?' so is James Emery White in his next chapter which I have just read. Must be the Holy Ghost wanting to teach me (and you perhaps?) something.

His essential point is the importance of us thinking not materially but vocationally and you need to start this young he recommends (Kathy Keller on Catechising your Children is worth a mention as an aside). So this little quote is possibly one for parents who may be finding it hard not to get caught up in the educational and material arms race of our day. Life is more than a row of A stars and a fat bank balance.

......'I was so disturbed when I spent a week speaking to hundreds of college students from across several states at a camp in the mountains of Virginia. As I would linger and talk to students over meals, I would ask them about their lives, and specifically what they planned to do with their majors [degrees]. Most had no idea. And the thought of their major reflecting any sense of calling could not have been more alien to their thinking.

I remember asking a junior, "Why are you majoring in mechanical engineering?"

He said, "I don't know. I guess because I know I can get a job."

I instantly knew that if I had asked him "Why do you want to get a job?" he would have said "So I can make money"

And if I were to have asked him why he wanted to make money, he would have said, "So I can buy things, do things- so that I can live."

And if I were to have asked him why he wanted to live, he would have said, "So I can be happy."

And if I were to have asked him why he wanted to be happy, he would have said, "That's what life is about."

No, it is not. What life is about is who God made you to be, what he has called you to be, and the journey of trust over a lifetime that brings clarity in the end. God desires nothing more than to infuse our heart and mind with a sense of meaning and purpose, and to call us to the front lines of what he is doing on this planet in light of his divine plan for our place and our role. If we don't answer this call, we'll fill our lives with what will feel significant: racing through our schedules, building a portfolio, climbing a ladder. But it won't be greatness. It won't be fulfilment. It won't be destiny. We will be seduced into thinking it is but it isn't. And as a result the world will stay the same, when we could have left the one unique mark God created us to leave.'

For more on this theme do listen to 'The Reason for Living'

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