A friend asked me where do I see my work and my faith. How do they interwine? Here's my response.....
You are asking a loaded question...one that I can spend forever to answer :)...(which I probably will and expect this to be a long email).
The biggest lesson I learn from triathlon is the order of things when it comes to serving God. I learn to let go of the expectations, dreams and accomplishments first, commit to the Lord, then work hard.
Often we do it the other way. We try and work hard first, then we ask God to make things happen to meet our expectations.
If we are truly His follower and His servant, we should let Him lead and we should follow.
And this takes a lot of courage, guts and faith. This is almost like you not worry about MBA program and asks God if He wants you to go somewhere, you will do it without hesitation or regret.
Side note: To make sure I was getting rid of my idols...I told God during the summer I will give my tri bike to anyone in my vicinity if they need it. Triathlon is almost my pride and joy. I have to make sure it ain't my idol by making sure I can give it up. It's God's bike anyways. At the same time I stop doing triathlon this summer. I just want to see where God is at. If He wants me to do it, I am sure He will let me know. [God didn't give me that opportunity and I still kept my tri bike.]
I ain't very spiritual or some holy person. What I notice is that Jesus asks us to count the cost first then follow Him. Instantly, I think by following Him I will miss something fun or miss out on life. Granted I sometimes feel that too. Like this morning, I have to remind myself does it make sense to give up money that can be spent for retirement or a house or a car to help the poor. Then I remember what Jesus said.....Matthew 6:33. Seek His Kingdom first. Then everything else I do make sense. Even if it doesn't make sense to this world. It makes sense from the Bible.
Funny thing is that those who truly see (or seek) the value of the Kingdom, they are more than willing to give up everything. Because it is so good. Much more than what this world can offer. This explains why the 11 of the 12 disciples died for Christ after resurrection. Also explain why Jesus said the Kingdom is like the treasure hidden in a field and fine pearls (Matthew 13:44-46). They find it great value that they will literally sell everything and follow.
The reality, and a griming reality, is that this is how most of us live our lives. We put job, family and lifestyle first. Go to a good program to get a good job to get a good house for our family. Then we look for a church/fellowship that meet our needs and with the time we have left we spent on ministry and serving.
So our priorities look like this:
Lifestyle -> Job -> Family Home -> Church -> Ministry
In fact, Jesus teaches us to focus on the opposite.
Ministry -> Church -> Family Home -> Job -> Lifestyle
Ministry and church comes first. Granted ministry doesn't just mean in the church. It means any activities (in the church and out of the church) that use to serve Him, share the Gospel (Great Commission) and encourage other brothers and sisters.
In North America, we strive for a comfortable life. The good life can become a thing more important that following Him. Perhaps this is why the Rich Young Ruler is so hard to follow Christ. Because letting go is just too hard. I think we live in a culture where it is more harder to give up than just work hard. I mean like this, how often will a Christians give up their lifestyle to serve the Lord. Instead, we tend to be, well I will just serve the Lord harder. I will do more for Him. I will do this this and that in the church...fellowship...programs.
So coming back to this, what about my job? The way I see it, the job is just a ministry given to me as much as anything else. Everything we do (in and out of church) should give glory to God. I don't have a secular life and spiritual life. Everything is sacred.
I still do what I do and I work hard for my company. That's good work ethics and good witness. My job ain't my idol and if God calls me to go somewhere else I will drop it and go. The first thing I have to do is acknowledge that God will take care of me, not my job/career/accomplishments. He is the Father that provides for sparrows, He can take care of me (trust me, I still struggle w/ this).
At the end of the day, God doesn't need us to do anything. He is God. His Spirit is leading. The Kingdom can grow with and without us. We are fortunate to be chosen by Him to do Good Works which He set us out to do for His Glory. I just follow Him as hard as I can. Remember what Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7 -> I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
We need Christians in business world just as much we need missionaries. Christians can be just as impact-ful in the secular world as anywhere else. We are called to do good. To do good to our neighbors. And we should do it to everyone around us. The faith is whether we are willing to do it by His ways instead of our way.
Tonight, I had the pleasure of spending a night with a highschool friend. We went downtown and shared a coffee with a homeless person. We visited him a few times now. It didn't seem much. I mean, we didn't change life or performed some miracles. But yet, this little thing, discipling my friend, serving together, and seeking the Kingdom is wonderful. I will never give this up for anything else. It just feel so good. Though the world might never understand..it's ok :). I am serving to the One that matters.
I find that following Christ....the more I follow, the more I realize i need more faith. And the more faith I need, the more I want to follow. At first, I just want to try giving up a bit of this and a bit of that. Next thing I know, I am starting to give up more and more.....then the only thing that's left is my life. And we know that my life ain't really mine anyways. And this ain't just me figuring this out, it is all the work of the Holy Spirit. And that's super awesome :)
I will pray for you. There must be immense pressure. May He reveal you and guide you as you finish your schooling.