See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
A couple weeks ago now, I got to go to career day at River Trail Middle School. I was eager to share about my own job, and just as eager to encourage the kids to consider non-profit work. I was correct in guessing that many of the parents represented careers in high-skilled for-profit jobs and it might be a rare opportunity to challenge these young people to think more broadly and imaginatively about how they would not only make a living, but make the world a better place.
Most of the students were familiar with the pressures to determine what they are good at and can make money doing. And most of them are familiar with the concept of doing "what makes you happy," so it never feels like work. I told them neither of those worldly pressures is a whole truth. When I asked how many kids in each session had mystique interests and skills, almost every hand went up. These gifted and bright young people are good at many things, what's come to be known as multi-potentialities. And when I told them that even adults with jobs they love have bad days and sometimes it's hard every day and they still love their job and life, they seemed surprised.
As we talked about the countless hats I wear in my career as teacher, preacher, counselor, translator, social media coordinator, graphic designer, service and volunteer coordinator, travel agent, medic, and inter-faith ambassador, I encouraged them to look for jobs where they could use many of their skills and could contribute to making their community and world better, whether for profit or not. As we celebrate our graduates this Sunday, I hope you'll join me in asking good questions of them. What are they doing next? (Don't assume college and grad school and career) What passions and skills do they have or are they developing? (Not just what classes they're taking or internships they're doing or their majors.) What ways do you want to make the world better or contribute to the lives of others? (Not what job they think they can get.) Encourage them to find a faith community and make sure they know JCPC is their safe harbor as they venture out and explore.