As students build professional materials--including resumes, cover letters, and mission statements--we ask good questions to help uncover strengths and talents we might not know we possess.
We ask: For what reason do people request your input or service?
We share our answers, and we learn how our community perceives us and what we offer.
We also ask another question that I find so enlightening: What motivates you to do your best at your job?
These two questions help students think deeply about who they are and why they do what they do. I find myself challenged to answer the second question. What does motivate me? Certainly not money (if you know anything about college instructor pay). Certainly not prestige. What then?
I think it's love. I'm motivated to do my best because of love of subject, love of student. That hasn't changed in all these years.
This morning I read the familiar passage in 1 Samuel 17 of the young David's defeat of Goliath with the stone and the sling.
I'm struck once again with how God used David just as he was. Of course others suggested sophisticated weaponry and clothing, but none of it felt comfortable to David because he "was not used to them."
He moved forward in God's strength as himself--in his shepherd's outfit and pouch. How silly it must have seemed to both the Israelites and the Philistines! How embarrassing!
But David secures a great victory in this authentic moment.
When God gives a new assignment, especially an intimidating one, I'm always tempted to copy great people or slowly become a different, artificial leader because of who I think I'm supposed to be. But young David's victory reminds me again to stand as myself with my own stones in hand.