Gleaming in the early dawn two coupled six thousand horsepower locomotives roared from the station. Exhilarated as the newly built engines accelerated to a cruising speed of sixty miles per hour, the engineer turned his head to check his load astonished to see the one hundred twelve-car train unmoved a mile behind him. Now what? Personal computers destined for vibrant businesses, leather chairs ordered by inside-the-beltway law firms, microscopes needed by crime-fighting forensics labs, paintbrushes for the master's hand: all idle, would never reach their destination because the engine never coupled with the load!
Christian youth have their God-given load to pull as well. They are responsible to carry out their call from God. How can you make sure your youth connect to and pull their load in life? What is their engine and what is in their train? An all-embracing Biblical view of life gained through a truly Christian education will give them the visionary power they need to pull their load. Without this comprehensive view of life, why should they bother to work so hard? They might as well eat, drink and enjoy popular "Christian" amusements, for tomorrow they go to heaven. Couple a Christian worldview with a specific God-given mission or calling and their lives will make a difference. Each of these youth will say with Paul at the end of his life, "I have run the race; I have finished the course," if they learn to transmit the power of their worldview into a lifetime of practical Christian action. This practical action should take the form of a God-given world-influencing career. Then they will use dozens of hours each week to influence their culture for Christ in every department of life. Too often the locomotive and the load never couple to make a train. Too often Christian youth learn theory in academics but fail to apply it to life through practical career planning.
A truly Christian world and life view embraces all of life and every noble occupation as under the lordship of Christ. The Christian then lives out his calling through a career. When this career fits his God-given pattern of personality, interests, skills, and work and life values, the youth can focus on a career arena with potential for godly influence. The youth will indeed pull his load.
A powerful and all embracing Christian worldview motivated Dr. Abraham Kuyper to deliver great strength to his labors in every department of life in the Netherlands. His own personal mission statement expresses an excellent pattern for young people seeking to influence their world with Biblical truths through their work. His engine pulled with mighty strength. So can your youth when they grasp this kind of mission.
One desire has been the ruling passion of my life. One high motive has acted like a spur upon my mind and soul. And sooner than that I should seek escape from the sacred necessity that is laid upon me, let the breath of life fail me. It is this: That in spite of all worldly opposition, God's holy ordinances shall be established again in the home, in school and in the state for the good of the people; to carve as it were into the conscience of the nation the ordinances of the Lord, to which Bible and creation bear witness, until the nation pays homage again to God. (Abraham Kuyper, 1897)
Dr. Kuyper lived his mission statement indefatigably through his professional life of service to God as:
- University Professor
- Editor-in-chief of The Standard, a daily paper, and the official organ of the Anti-revolutionary party, which in politics represented the Protestant contingent of the Dutch nation
- Editor of the Herald, a distinctively Christian weekly paper
- Member of Parliament
- Prime minister
- Founder of the Free University of Amsterdam, which takes the Bible as the unconditional basis on which to rear the whole structure of human knowledge in every department of life
- Spokesmen for the cause of Christ
The history of the Netherlands in church, in state, in society, in press, in school, and in the sciences around the turn of the twentieth century mentions his name on almost every page. During this period the biography of Dr. Kuyper is to a considerable extent the history of the Netherlands.
The twenty-first century world our children will inherit needs the individual and cumulative labor of every Christian with the favor of God to cause a positive shift in culture. Each youth needs to prepare for that life of influence God intends. Some are called to set pulpits aflame with the same truths that moved historian Alexis de Toqueville to conclude that the greatness of America resulted from the effectiveness of her ministers. The calling of most will lead them to godly influence on the broader culture through law, politics, journalism, education, science, medicine, technology, architecture, engineering, the trades, the arts, management, entrepreneurism and so on. Each youth has a mission to fulfill. This purpose will energize each of them during the long years of preparation and the times of slow progress ahead. Like Dr. Kuyper they will leave their own footprints in the sands of time if they address life and career planning with a Christian worldview.
Christian parents and educators, we must invigorate the career guidance process with an all-embracing view that considers a career as a venue for family provision and cultural change. We must use the ideas and tools now available to achieve a truly Christian approach to career planning for youth. Only in this way will the Christian education they have received achieve its intended end. Ka-boom! Shaking the earth, the twelve thousand-ton train gradually accelerated to cruising speed. Three thousand miles later, bell clanging, the load arrived at its destination. May our youth pull their load. May they change the world of their generation through their work.
- Rodney Marshall
Rodney Marshall, M.Div. is Educational Marketing Manager for Larry Burkett's Christian Financial Concepts/Life Pathways providing career and educational guidance and money management products and services with a Biblical worldview. He can be reached at (972)539-1574 or [email protected] or www.findafuture.com.