So I just filled out a "Connections Survey" for my alma mater, Life Pacific College, and it was interesting to notice the questions that it asked. Of course, it asked the standard stuff, Name, Years Attended and Graduated and contact info. And of course family info (I have no family of my own), so that was blank.
Then it wanted to know church info. The name, address, phone number of it. That's something that would be terribly relevant to someone in a "traditional ministry position", which is probably the occupation most people go to Bible College to acquire... but it may not matter nearly as much to someone who does something outside of church, either for their "day job" or ministry.
The survey next wants to know "Ministry Service or Career Path" since graduation. Now, I'm assuming this is information that will be going in the college's newsletter that goes out to alumni and supporters of the college to update everyone on what everyone else is doing. Is it in some way a measure of success for someone who can list off churches or ministries they've been a part of? When people receive this, do they compare what other people are doing to each other? Do they compare their own "Ministry Service or Career Path" with those of their peers? I mean, it's not like it's a competition... but it seems like human nature would turn it into one, no?
The most interesting question on it however, was the last one: Tell us the most exciting thing that’s going on in your life. Did your son just graduate from high school? Did your first grandchild just arrive? Are you in the middle of a building project at your church? To be honest, the most exciting thing in my life just happened a couple days ago, but due to confidentiality reasons I can't go into detail about it where all can read. But it has to do with my day job and it was pretty sweet.
Aside from that, I've moved out of my parent's house, I left my dad's church and found a new church (plant), I am living in an apartment on my own and I'm making a name for myself at work. Not in the "famous" making a name for myself way that phrase is usually meant (which is still somewhat true), but I'm making a name for myself in the way I conduct myself at work. The way I build relationships and the way I interact with people (customers, employees who work for me, my peers and those above me) stands out. They know I'm different than the person who had the job before me because of the way I talk, the decisions I make and how I treat people.
Of course it's a "secular" job, which means that there are politically correct things that one can and can't say and do. But I believe there is so much that words and actions can say and do without going into "politically incorrect" territory. There are dozens of people who I would love to have a conversation with when one of us no longer works for my company. But who knows if I will ever be the one to have that conversation? Maybe God is using me to (pardon my Christianese metaphors), "soften the earth", "plant the seed" or "water the plant" and someone else will "reap the harvest"?
I'm enjoying this stage of life and in truth the most exciting thing in my life right now is the relationships I am building and the lessons being learned (on both sides) from these relationships. Even with all this I can tell that this stage is still preparation, and the most exciting things are yet to come.