As I weighed what I wanted to do with my life, I remember having a well-paying job right after college. I wanted to go to seminary, but my father wanted me to work. The work had more stress than I wanted, and it caused me to ask the question — why am I doing this? What’s it worth?
I easily concluded money did not motivate me. I could remain on my career path, but I would never be happy. Rich, maybe? Happy or satisfied, no. I prayerfully contemplated medicine or ministry. The longing for ministry far outweighed my desire for medicine. So, I applied to seminary and went.
The second or third day of the seminary’s orientation, I realized God had provided all my tuition up front through my previous job. I had been so stressed, so challenged and fatigued by it, I didn’t notice that. Yet God had heard my prayers to finish four years of seminary debt free. I just paid my tuition bills and when I finished I had only a little bit left.
Many times, I have contemplated God’s faithfulness. I stand amazed at having traversed through life, ministry and missions for almost 32 years with all our needs met (spiritual, emotional, physical, intellectual). At one point I recalled a statement Jesus said about following Him, “he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age,” and had to admit, that’s what God has done for me. I can take that verse to the bank, literally!
All I wanted when I chose ministry over medicine was to get to know God in my experience and to invite others to know Him. The only costs I considered concerned spending my life in a job only making money. I’ve never considered any cost of the insanity of living by faith, trusting God for my needs. All I gained is God present with me, who has met us in times of trouble, times of despair, times of fruitfulness, times of confusion, times of wondering, and in times of fun. God has always been there in conversation, circumstance, ministry, life and love.
I gave up gaining the world in exchange for an amazing interactive knowledge of God. I learned the true worth of a soul — God himself. And He far exceeds whatever value I’d place on my soul. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.