Monthly Archives: July 2016

Papers and my Calling



It is past 11 pm and at least half of the ladies in our dorm are awake, including myself.

Behind me, I can hear my roommate typing furiously in her laptop, the sound of her keys competing with the noise created by my own typing, the sounds muffled only by the whirring of our loud ceiling fan (what a day it would be when our rooms finally get air-conditioning!).

Outside our room, at the common kitchen-dining area, others are focused on their own screens, their fingers moving steadily across black keyboards.

We all have papers to pass tomorrow, and we are working hard in an effort to beat our deadlines. Papers, papers, papers. I must have written a million words in the last year.

It can’t be just me — but sometimes, in moments like these, I tend to wonder… what is the point of all this?

And I am prompted to think about this at this moment, because today in chapel, the speaker (who is also a former Military Officer) spoke about Strategy and Tactical Plans. Strategic plans are the big plans, and Tactical Plans are the daily operations, the smaller plans.

His point: We can be wasting our time at tactical activities that do not contribute to the over-all strategic goals and plans. So it is in the military, and so it is in our spiritual lives. This presumes, of course, that you *know* your strategic goals and plans, because only then can you evaluate whether something does actually contribute to your goals.

In missionary-speak / Christianese , how do your daily activities, involvements, engagements and investments contribute to the fulfillment of God’s calling for you?

And right now I can’t help but think… how does writing this Biographical Study on Deborah from the book of Judges contribute to the fulfillment of my calling?

How does writing that Personal Conflict Style reflection paper contribute to the fulfillment of my calling?

Or reading 50 pages of Grudem? Or reflecting on Howard Hendricks’ teaching principles? Or going to my ministry area every week? Or meeting my accountability group?

Now in my case, these are easy to justify and defend. I’m in seminary, and am preparing my mind, heart and hands for the mission field. I can say this with certainty and confidence because by God’s sovereign grace, I believe I know a little bit about God’s specific calling for me.

But there are other activities I engage in that while not necessarily evil, may not actually be relevant nor helpful… Like devoting too much time watching Kpop. Or spending too much on shopping.

I’ve learned in the past that things/events like these that prompt me to think are actually gentle messages from God: affirming my calling, and prompting me to evaluate how I am stewarding my life to fulfill the calling He has given me.

So this is what I hope to keep thinking about throughout the week (and throughout the term):

-How am I showing gratefulness in the calling He has given me?

-Have I been stewarding my life in appropriate ways to fulfill the calling He has given me? In what ways must I repent of the ways I have squandered the gifts He has given me to steward?