For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.
- 2 Corinthians 8:9
We had a great discussion in my Church History class today. We talked about things from abstinence vs. chastity, to what it means to exist for God alone, to the desire to do more in life than get a "good job" and get rich. I shared with them how my career path has led me to actually make less and less money as I have gone from TSYS to Crawford Road to Veritas. Continuing on this trajectory, I am only a step or two from working for free! I realize that this situation is temporary, and I am only kidding, but a point is to be made. I decided several years ago that I would rather do something meaningful with my life and make less money than to have a well-paying job that contributes little or nothing to God's mission. Now, I realize that we can work for God's mission no matter where or what our occupation is. There is something to be said for being salt and light in a place like TSYS. For me, however, there was a desire to contribute to the Kingdom in my career itself. It's that same desire that pushes me now to teach and to study and to lead a house church.
I love seeing this desire in others as well. A former student from my youth group is becoming a medical engineer. He has already designed prosthetic legs for amputees in poverty-stricken Vietnam. My best friend is preparing to enter graduate school to become a speech pathologist. My brother-in-law has just begun college with hopes of going to medical school afterward. I have a friend who spent her summer pouring her life into students at a youth camp. I have another who is debating whether to enter law school or seminary. I know a lawyer who uses his knowledge and skills to be a force for good in our community. My wife is two months away from becoming a nurse who will care for babies during their first days. I could go on. When you ask these people why they want to do what they are doing, they will not talk to you about money, power, or fame.
So why do we do what we do? There is never just one answer to that question. My prayer, however, is that one answer might have to do with following after the One who made Himself poor so that we might become rich.