Who says… We Need A Career?

Part of the series Who says…
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2015-04-13.

Building on a foundation that God is, that He created the universe and that He ultimately is responsible for our children’s being, should provide ample substance upon which to build our faith. This lengthy series will identify the secular thinking that has eroded that faith.

Bible Reference: Col. 3:23

Sometimes when I speak to a group of home educating parents about careers for their children, I like to do a little experiment. I ask how many of them have a post-secondary education. Then I ask how many of them are actually working in the field in which they were trained. Usually a majority of the parents have post-secondary education, but most of them are not working in the field they trained for. Then I ask how many of them are employed and enjoy what they’re doing. Normally a majority of those employed enjoy what they’re doing.

There’s a lesson here. A lot of the parents are post-secondary educated, but most of them are not working in the field in which they were trained. Most of them are gainfully employed and enjoying what they’re doing. Who’s responsible for having acquired the education in the wrong field? The individual. Who’s responsible for having made sure they ended up where they should be? The Lord. So it seems like God has things under control, whereas we don’t.

There is a common view that anybody can be anything they want to be, but that is not true. People need to have a God-given aptitude for the career they choose. They can only be who God created them to be in the first place. They must make career decisions in keeping with who they are. They cannot be somebody else.

There’s also a prevailing view that higher education means greater success. Higher education is certainly beneficial. The more education someone can achieve the better, but it’s not a guarantee that he or she is going to be more successful in life. When it comes to careers, the world has a particular hierarchy of importance. The guy with a PhD is considered to be better or more important than the guy who has only a master’s degree. And the master’s degree holder is considered to be better or more important than the guy with a bachelor’s degree, and that guy is better than the one who is a tradesman, and the tradesman is better than the labourer. That’s the world’s view of importance. We can call that a vertical vision.

But God does not see it that way. He sees it on a horizontal level where everybody is important. There is no job or career that is more important than the other. Where would the guy with a PhD be if there was nobody to fix his malfunctioning toilet? Where would he be if there was nobody to deliver the goods that he needs to do his job? God’s view recognizes that every legitimate task is necessary and valuable.

So it is important to understand that God does not call parents to prepare their children for college, but to prepare them for life. There’s a big difference, both here and in the life to come, even if college is one of the steps taken along the way. The parents’ job is to encourage children to be the best that they can be and to direct them with an eye to the future.

The greatest pleasure in life is the ultimate knowledge of having served Him. Everybody can serve God in whatever they do if they understand that they are working as unto the Lord and not for selfish gain. A neurosurgeon is no more important to God than the trash collector, yet both can either honour Him or not through their dedication to their work and how they present it before God. In the end, the ultimate questions will be “what did you do with the gifts and talents that I gave you?”. Choose to glorify God in whatever you do. There is no higher calling.

Who says we need a career? Those who fail to understand that we are to occupy until Christ returns. Of greater danger than doing the wrong thing for a season is doing nothing at all.

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