Today’s reading is Numbers 7-8 and Mark 13:21-37.
My university career was phenomenal for me. It is during those four years that I learned a lot about being an artist, how to communicate more effectively with diverse groups of people, met my future wife, and really got passionate about my relationship with God. The campus group known as Campus Crusade for Christ had a great impact on my relationship with God.
Through this group I was challenged in many aspects of thinking in my life. One issue being how much to let God take control of my career choice. I remember this because it became quite the controversy at a conference I attended. Now, let me stop here to give you some insight to the situation. I was a senior at Illinois State University. In a para-church organization such as Crusade there tends to be a greenhouse effect that is built as many students, who are passionately and energetically (sometimes almost competitively)spend a great amount of time together and seeking to become more like Christ. Also, there is a great deal of respect for the full-time staff persons that run the organization. The staff are Godly men and women striving to seek God’s will for their life and spread the Gospel on college campuses. They were our heroes. Thus, when you are approached to attend a conference setup especially for juniors and seniors you are thrilled on two counts. One, a conference meant getting away from a “busy” campus schedule and dedicating a weekend of focuses time with God. Two, someone who I highly respected asked me to attend and that kind of invitation means a great deal.
The conference was neat. There was great worship music and talented speakers. Many of the speakers focused on life after university. This tended to lead to talks about working in some capacity with Campus Crusade. There were job fairs setup in the hallways. Interviews being performed.
The controversy came to play with the disgruntled students that did not want to work in a full-time ministry setting. The conference was seen as a scam to get people to work for the organization through guilt trips and misuse of scriptures. I will have to say that many students did tend to idolize working with Crusade (that’s what our heroes did) so I can understand how the undertone of lessening other careers could be felt at the event. However, overall, I came away from the conference with a sense of more options for the future. I would be invited to several more job fairs that did not represent any full-time ministry positions. I concluded that other careers were fighting for my attention through seminars and job fairs so why shouldn’t a full-time ministry have a chance to get our attention.
In Numbers 8 the Levites are being taken through a ritual process and being set aside strictly for the work of The Tent of Meeting. In fact God said that he was taking the Levites as chosen among the chosen to do the work of the ministry. Not only did God command this be done but he wanted the people to lay hands on the Levites. Now the Israelites had to lay hands on their sin offering/sacrifice as a sign that their sin was being transferred from themselves to the animal to be killed. In this case the people were showing God that the work and service around the temple was being transferred from all the people to the Levites. Thus, all the people were acknowledging the importance of the work of these people. Now these guys could have been doing more “important” work. They could have been farmers. They could’ve been tending cattle. Instead they found their days busy with setting up or tearing down the Tent of Meeting. When the tent was up, they sang songs, performed sacrifices for the people, said prayers, etc. However, God deemed it right and worthy that they take care of the place where He met with the people.
I think that’s where I get mixed up here. The God of the universe met with the people. The author of life came down among unworthy and sinful people in a specific place. The worker of miracles can use a secretary to share the gospel with her boss. The God that knows all my troubles can use my pastor to spur the congregation on to great things. If God is amongst the job, it’s significant.