FF40 – Day 34 on Vocation | From Darrell Gwaltney

DAY 34 – VOCATION

1 Samuel 16:6-13 | Luke 1:26-38 | Acts 16:11-15

As I write this devotion, I am sitting in a hotel room in Jerusalem. I am here
on a study abroad trip with 20 Belmont students. In a little less than three
weeks we are traveling through Israel, Turkey, and Greece as we take a walk
through the biblical world. Our conversations have often been about how
we are all being changed by walking in the footsteps of Jesus and meeting
people who live in this corner of the world. Each of these students will likely
say this trip has been a transformative experience. In a couple of years,
you will have the chance to take this same trip, if you like, as you fulfill your
general education requirements of third year religion and third year writing.

Think about who you are and what it means to leave home and come to
college. In a couple of years you might take a study abroad trip to Israel,
Turkey, and Greece. Of course, you could also go to Scotland, or South
Africa, or Germany, or Ireland, or France, or Argentina or many other places
in the world. Does that sound scary or exciting to you? It is hard to know or
even imagine what kind of person you might be two years from now, much
less when you graduate from college.

Your experience here at Belmont, both in the classroom and in all the other
activities available to you, will give you the opportunity to become someone
you have always imagined you’d be or someone you never imagined you’d
be. Either one might be equally exciting or frightening. I hope you seize
every opportunity in front of you to become the kind of person God wants
you to be and to seize every opportunity to stretch yourself and grow
intellectually, socially, and emotionally.

Our Scripture reading for today shows us the ways that God chooses people.
Even though David had older brothers who looked more qualified, God chose
David to be the next king of Israel (1 Sam 16.6-13). Even though Lydia was just
someone who sold cloth, she opened her heart to what God was saying to her
and the rest is history (Acts 16.11-15). Start out your college experience with
the understanding that God is choosing you for something that may surprise
people and be ready to open your heart to that choice of God. Then, be
amazed at what incredible opportunities come your way. You may even find
yourself traveling to Israel or Turkey or Greece or Scotland or South Africa or
Germany or only God knows where. Prepare yourself for an adventure.

Darrell Gwaltney
Dean, School of Religion

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