"My biggest concern getting out of college was NOT winding up in a jungle in Asia," said my dad. Upon graduation, the United States drafted my dad to fight in the Vietnam War. "Now, my reserve was never called to fight, but it was a very real possibility. So, count yourself lucky."
Lately I've been getting a lot closer to my dad and today as I walked home from work I shared with him my mild anxiety about graduating and finding a job. We both concluded, however, that God has everything under control and no matter what, I am going to be alright. In fact, even if I were to get "nowhere" and do "nothing" career wise, (which hopefully won't happen, but go with me here) that would be okay... because my career is not what I've been called to do. Consequently, I've come to realize that where some are off to fight a literal and physical war upon leaving college, I've been fighting the temptation to get distracted and forget what we're REALLY here for.
I think sometimes it's so easy for us, I know it is for me at least, to get so wrapped up at this stage in life in what are we going to do, how much money will we make, and how to climb that corporate ladder... some of use with intentions of changing the world and some of just want a job. But I guess lately I've really realized this:
It's a nice idea to want to change the world through a business plan or what have you.
It's a nice idea to want to make a positive impact.
It's a nice idea to want to pay the rent.
But I worry that these goals are missing what should be our true goal (while still nice and possible, they alone fall far short, even with good intentions). When these things become our focus I feel like things just start to get out of whack. Where our work place can be a place for us to practice what we should be doing, often I feel it's easy to feel like the work place is a vehicle to achieve this... when it's not.
Didn't Jesus say, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul... and love your neighbor as yourself." Well, if that is our greatest commandment, I think maybe we need to remember it has nothing to do with earning or achieving... it has everything to do with those people RIGHT next to us. In class, at work, next door, on campus, off campus, on facebook, in and out of church... everywhere... and yes, even those people we'd rather forget and pretend we don't know.
If our concern is not loving, and I mean getting down in the dirt until it hurts and still going loving, each other, then what are we even trying to achieve? I truly believe that the world is changed on heart at a time. I'm not suggesting not to follow dreams or pursue career goals, but what I AM saying is this:
When I grow up, it doesn't matter where my career path takes me or how great (or not great) I become in my field... I just want to love. I want to hurt when others hurt, I want to be aware of how I treat others and truly care, I want to rejoice when others rejoice, and as much as I want to fight for what is right, I never want to get lost in the fight, but always remember that my priority is to LOVE others... and I want to remember that that has NOTHING to do with who is signing my paycheck at the end of the month, or even if I have one at all.
I pray in a time where most of my peers are rounding that same corner of the final stretch, that we all would remember what is important, not achieving, but whole heartedly and truly loving one another and our Father.