I’m not out of the game, I just have a different role

Well guys, it has been a doozy of month. For the past three years, I have been prepped for, and encouraged to pursue by numerous profs, a PhD. For the past three years, this has been my intention. As of today, I have signed an offer for employment with CSI Tech as a Technical Recruiter with the expectation of becoming an Account Executive in the next few months. For three years, I have received amazing theological training, and now I will be entering into corporate America. It is still unbelievable to me, because for so long I viewed that path as the broad and easy road that led to destruction, and for me to go down that road was synonymous with me forsaking all that I desire in life. The bible is very clear that those who desire to be rich pierce themselves with many pains, and I was afraid that I wasn’t strong enough to be in that environment without succumbing to that temptation.

So why change paths? Well, first of all, I have been neglecting my role as the primary provider for the past three years. Let me qualify what I mean though, as there are thousands of seminary students who are studying while their wives are making the money.I don’t in any way intend that if this is your situation you are neglecting your God given responsibility. I realized that the fear I had of a “secular” job was the main motivation for my staying in school. I have always “felt called” to go into the ministry, and yet God has never provided me with an opportunity. My thought process was that after I finish school, THEN I will be ready and God will provide for me. What I came to realize was that my fear was ultimate in my decision to pursue a theological degree. There are those who study that are either in the ministry already, or have the definite call of God on their lives. I honestly had neither of those characteristics, rather I stayed the course because it was safer. In doing that, I was placing Jen in a position where she had to provide because of my fear. Needless to say, this has caused a huge strain in our relationship, but one that God is graciously healing.

As a college football player, I had a coach telling me where to be and when to be there for three years. When I was out of that environment, I was absolutely lost. Going to seminary provided a means of normalcy, and my professors urging that I continue my education was reminiscent of my coach telling what to do. I gladly did it, because I didn’t have to worry about making my own decisions and face the possibility of failure. After a loving rebuke from my wife (“You have had someone hold your hand your whole life, it’s time for you to stand on your own.”), I realized how true that statement was. See, I was in a strange positiion where I was looking for minsitry opportunities feeling totally frustrated, and looking at “secular” jobs feeling totally guilty. After seeking the Lord’s face, I felt him say to me “You are free! You can pursue me in whatever you do! Christ bought that for you, so live in it!” The next day I responded to a job posting, and the rest is history. No guilt, no worry, only the excitement of the possibilities of how God will use this.

Having said that, I am not leaving the game, I am just moving positions. I may return one day, but now my role is different. I have three years of training, which I will use to edify the church. But instead of being paid by it, I will help finance it. When asked what my goals were, I said “To become as wealthy and derive as much satisfaction out of life as possible.” I didn’t qualify either of those, and what I said and what he heard are worlds apart. He heard “I want money so I can buy stuff.”  What I meant was that I value Christ above all, and the more I have of him, the wealthier I become. In the same vein, I am satisfied in him alone, so the more I have of him, the more satisfaction I derive out of life.

I will probably be posting less and less on this thing as I get more and more involved in my new career. Let me leave with this. After three years of study, I have found that the center of all true theology is the person of Christ, the personification of grace and truth. Any theology that denies grace (any of the liberation theologies) or make it a license for sin (health, wealth and prosperity) is to be lovingly rebuked, and their destruction is to be sought with patience and gentleness. The details of this theology are to be filled in by those who have been called by God into that role, and I pray that He would bless you all in your pursuit of that calling. As for the game, I’m still in it, I’m just playing a different position. I love you all, and I know that out of this blog will rise many who will be instrumental in the redemption of the academic world.

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2 responses to “I’m not out of the game, I just have a different role

  1. Great stuff. I think we all can a see ourselves in your post. Love you Nate.

    P.S. You will be receiving my financial support letter tomorrow.

  2. Ha, my letter is in the mail as well. NATE, wow, we’ve walked through so much of this together brother. Thanks for putting your heart in writing by sharing your thoughts. I am excited for you. This post helps me harken back to Luther’s word’s on vocation…to Paul’s words…to the word’s of Christ…that we are to live in him, in the world, loving our God and loving those who are unlovely. From a DSC guy I cannot tell you how encouraging it is to see so many lay-elders, with great and profitable full time jobs, using their minds/hearts to serve the church. Any church that gets you better go sell its belongings and buy the field with the buried treasure. I love you man.

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