Well, it’s very quiet around campus this week. Spring Break is definitely here (along with enough pollen to blanket the state of Rhode Island). Recently, I moved into the special projects coordinator role here at IMPACT 360. It is amazing to be working with such great and talented people, and to hang out with some awesome students and call it work. Just the other day, I learned about one of our alumni working in California. I was so impressed with the work that he is a part of. He is making a difference, changing culture, and serving people across the world. I think about people like Louie Giglio, David Platt, missionaries, and others and feel such a strong sense of admiration. They really seem to be changing the world.
I do love working for IMPACT 360. When I graduated college, I knew I wanted to do something that would make a difference in the world. I wanted to do something I could be proud of, work I could brag about. For the longest while, I did feel that. More recently, though, I’ve started to wonder about the value of my work. HEAR ME OUT! I think this happens to everyone: Does what I do really matter? I thought about my daily job. As a special projects coordinator, the staff likes to joke that anything can be a special project… and “anything” can include a LOT of things: mail runs, emails, printing off packets, writing tweets and Facebook posts, buying wiper blades for 15-passenger vans, and the list could go on. I don’t always see how some of these things really make a difference. Let it be known that just “being in ministry” doesn’t automatically mean that you will be fulfilled in all of your work.
I was not a student at IMPACT, but some of what they talk about does seem to rub off on me, especially in the areas of vocation and calling. I know that every calling is from God. Our students read God at Work by Gene Edward Veith. In it Veith says, “’The priesthood of all believers’ did not make everyone into church workers; rather, it turned every kind of work into a sacred calling. “ This helps of course, but it’s still hard to see wiper blades as a sacred calling. Something (thankfully) occurred to me though. I was comparing my life to others’ lives (a bad practice from the start), but I wasn’t even comparing apples to apples.
I was comparing someone else’s compelling mission and vision to my own routine daily activities. I was saying, “Wow, that guy is changing the world” and, “I don’t understand why I have to coordinate these campus tours.” They’re not the same thing at all. I had to realize that a vision for the future always sounds better than the steps to get there. “Fighting the AIDS epidemic” always sounds more exciting than “stuff these envelopes.” I realized that those guys have to do the mundane and routine things, same as me, but they do have a great vision. Sitting in my car on the ride home from work, I had to paint the vision for myself. I came up with this:
I am part of a movement that is turning back the tide of “isms” in our culture: post-modernism, nihilism, and naturalism. It is a movement helping train the next generation of leaders to make this world a better place, where people fight for those in need and where the marketplace, courtroom, classroom, and home are strongholds for Biblical ideas and practices.
I’m no Bill Shakespeare, but that still sounds much better than buying wiper blades. That compelling vision is so important. I’ve heard that it is a part of leadership’s job to cast that vision, but now I see why. With a strong sense of vision, I feel value and significance in my work.