Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Call

I posted earlier on (today), but I'll be absent from blogger for another long while. This time, my Sis’ fast-approaching wedding (March 1st) is the happy reason. I thought I might as well blog about what’s on my mind while I have the chance, therefore.

Two weeks ago, I was at a video production workshop hosted by Media Village, the video production wing of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and it-was-amazing!!
"Using the media as a tool for nation-building," was the slogan. And I'll say it again: it was amazing.
I was so inspired by the twenty plus super-creative Christians who attended. The trainers/facilitators were so good. We learned the basics of pre-production (script-writing, target audience determination, structure, creative hooks, lighting, sound...) At the week's end, we were to produce a 3-minute video on anything we fancied. My group did a video on having HIV and still living a successful life; I was surprised and shamed to discover that I didn't think HIV+ people really had that chance. "What the media projects is what the people see," one of my teammates said. That is so true. Other groups worked on food (Indomie Vegetale), Pre-Marital Sex, and the dangers of Goskolo (aka. Ogogoro, or Monkey Tail, I think. It's sha a corrrosive drink that people get drunk with).I felt like I was flying when our beautiful, amazing director told me I belonged in the field. (Halla-luyah! This girl is Useful at last!) But with all the joy welling up within me, there was CONFUSION (and a lot of fear, if I'm to document all the emotions I experienced).

Why? Because...
There I was, fresh out of the department of Chem. Eng., FUT Minna, hoping to learn more about it, and eventually fall in love with, and practice it (“like it, love it, don’t leave it” as dc Talk would say) and then video production came along… and Iswept me off my feet one time! The creativity flying in the air. The people. The work that seems so unlike work... the promise of an exciting life after all. I felt so happy. I belonged! (triumphant music still plays in my head as I reollect the events of that week).

I began to think, “What duz this mean? That my 5 plus years in Uni. is a waste?? Or that I shouldn't have studied so hard to get the grades?? Or that I was being tempted/side-tracked by an impossible thing? A dream that was just not meant for me?? That I was about to risk my parents' disapproval?? ("So because you spent just one week in a glamorous field you are ready to throw away your hard work?")
So I asked the professionals and got different answers. Some said I could practice the two, but only for a time, as both are big, time-loving fields (and when husband and children would come along...); others said lai-lai I could only do one (thou shalt not serve two masters), and others said I really could do the two always, but I needed to be hard-working and smart about it. Hard wroking? No problem. Smart? Hmmm. But one thing every side was unanimous about was my need for prayer.

So has the answer come?

I think so. When I travelled to Minna to do my clearance, I stayed with the warmest, kindest family ever (Navigators who train University students to "know Christ and make Him known;" to "add value to someone's life". Their Bible Studies, retreats, picnics, meals were so meticulously thought-out and they really had us thinking, What kind of people are these? How can they be SO nice to us?! I have met amazing people in this life O!). They have an admirable collection of booooks! I could never be bored in their house. Anywayz, in one of my chatty/non-timid moods, one of the trainees, (a Friend-For-Life candidate, I once wrote in my journal) and I were going through the books. He then recommended Os Guinness' book.

"The Call of Guinness?" IU asked, looking at him suspiciously. "You want me to read a book on beer?!"
"No, " he said, laughing. "The Call... by Os Guinness. Not of"
"It's very intellectual," he said
"Ah! No thank you" I laughed. "I'm interested in books on interpersonal relationships... like books on effective witnessing."
We bantered along those lines, and I eventually took 2 books off the shelf- one on witnessing and the intellectual one: The Call. (Later on I added one more book -on marriage- and proceeded to speed-read them). I loved The Call most. If you're experiencing a similar conflict, please get that book! I could paraphrase the section in which he dealt with the Work vs. Calling issue, but he said it so well:

“…There was no advertised job that was perfect for Paul’s calling: ‘Apostle to the Gentiles: $50,000 per annum.’ So Paul, not wishing to depend on wealthy Corinthian patrons, earned money by making tents. Doubtless he made his tents well because they too were made to the glory of God. But tentmaking was never the heart of Paul’s calling, it was only a part, as all of life is… [Work is something] that frees us to get that which is central. By contrast, whatever is the heart of our calling is work that fulfils us because it employs our deepest gifts."

"The difference is impossible to mistake. Goerge Foreman, flamboyant heavyweight champion of the world and a Baptist preacher (odd…) says, ‘Preaching is my calling. Boxing for me is only moonlighting in the same way Paul made tents.’”

“THE CALL: Finding and fulfilling the central purpose of your life”
Os Guinness

I think I get the message. God, please help me.