Diplomas and Dreams
Matt Wells, Media Assistant
So you’re graduating. Congrats!
What are you going to do now? Do you have a job? Are you going to get your masters? Are you getting married?
Maybe you’ve heard those questions far too much lately. But people just want to know what’s next for you. “Yeah, so do I,” you may think to yourself.
Some people just have their whole lives planned out. Their first word as a baby was, “Mama,” and their second word was the job they wanted to be when they grew up. And they never strayed from that dream. Nothing could get in their way, not even college – look, they’re walking off that stage with a diploma that confirms their dream and a job offer waiting in the field of their dreams. They have a five-year-plan, a ten-year-plan, and a thousand-year-plan.
Maybe you don’t have a dream like that. Maybe you came into college with incredible dreams but some not-so-incredible grades made those dreams fade. Or a bad tryout, a bad breakup, or a bad decision broke down your bold ambitions.
It’s okay. For those of you who will have a diploma but not dreams or desires or direction, let me offer some Scriptural principles to help:
1. You already have a life mission. It’s called the Great Commission. Looking for a life’s direction? Looking for a cause to live for? Look no further than Matthew 28:18-20. Jesus calls all His disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations.” Not what you were looking for? Well there is no greater cause, no higher aim to strive for in life. No one else’s dreams will be loftier than yours – but there will be many who will join this mission with you (they’re called the church).
2. You already have your life ambition. What more amazing ambition could you have than to see people reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5)? No one could accuse the Apostle Paul of not being driven. He wrote in Romans 15:20: “I make it my ambition to preach the gospel…” That ambition for him was specifically to preach the Gospel to Gentiles in places Christ had not been named. And you can have a similar niche – how has God specifically wired you? What sort of people are you equipped to reach that no one else could reach?
3. All you have to do is pick a “side-job.” Just as the Great Commission gives us our life mission, so the Great Mandate gives us one way to accomplish that mission. You’ve probably heard it called the Creation Mandate – it’s found in Genesis 1:28, where God tells the man He created, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it…” This is a call to take the created order, all that God has made, and transform it for man’s use and ultimately God’s glory. God has just created man in His own image, and that includes His amazing sense of creativity. Now man can image his God by being creative himself in how he fashions God’s raw materials for man’s use. And once Christ came and gave us the Great Commission, we now have a goal with this mandate – “subdue” creation, not just for our use, but so that people hear the Gospel in all nations!
What are your skills? What was your major? What do you enjoy doing (so much so that you would do it for free)? Now, brainstorming time – how can you use that skill to get the Gospel out? How can you use
your job as an accountant to proclaim Christ? How can you use your creativity as a painter, as a movie-maker, as a musician to make others see Jesus? I could think of thousands of ways. So can you. Write them down – dream!
There – now you have a life mission and ambition. It’s time to “reach beyond yourself” and use your skills and passion and ambition and dreams (broken or unbroken) to accomplish what God has placed you on this planet to accomplish.
All for His glory.
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The CGO Blog
Written by the CGO staff, with guest posts from students and other faculty/staff at BJU to provide thought leadership for missions in a new millennium.