Saturday, December 30, 2006

Career Talk

Last Saturday, I was invited by my wife to speak to some 60 youths sponsored by Compassion. It was a sort of a career talk, and I was just so eager to do that. Five of us were invited, representing various professions. One is our former Pastor, then his wife who is a social worker. Then, our Sunday School Superintendent whose full-time job is a teacher at a National High School. The other one is a computer engineer who is also an alumnus of Compassion. Then me: A CPA.

As a background, these kids (youths actually) came from indigent families and were supported by Compassion since they were still 4-9 years old. Most are enrolled in public schools. My wife is also a Compassion alumna. She was a sponsored child till she reached 18. Now, she volunteers as a teacher and a health coordinator.

I arrived late, as in very late (sorry). The first three speakers already finished their talk. I sat at the back as I listened to the Engineer. But after a few minutes, I remembered I have not prepared my speech. I asked for a pen and paper and scribbled my outline. There’s no reason to panic here, because all I have to do is repeat what I have said in a previous career talk, though that was a year ago.

Then my time came. I started narrating about my childhood dreams. They were wild actually; like wanting to become an astronaut, or a scientist. Then my aspirations when I was in high school: I wanted to take up Agriculture in UPLB. Then I told them how God closed the door for UPLB, and so I was left with 3 more options when I finally set foot at USC. I had the enrollment money but still praying for wisdom. I said to myself that there would be no turning back for whatever choice I’ll make that day. In the end, I chose Accountancy. There was a feeling of relief and lightness as I walked home to report to my parents my chosen course. They were glad that I chose Accountancy as it was also on their mind for me.

But it did not end there. I told the youths that in order to finish the course and achieve my dream of becoming a CPA, I need to constantly ask for God’s wisdom. I also need the passion and the perseverance. There were so many boring moments, boring accounting teachers, and other diversions. But I have to maintain my focus in order to achieve my goal. I concluded my short talk with some familiar phrases: Always ask wisdom from God, study hard, dream big dreams and aim higher.

Then the question and answer portion. Two questions struck me. First, how do you know that the course you are planning to take is God’s will for you? Second, since God wants us to obey our parents, do we really have to obey them if they insist on a particular course which we do not like?

I responded first to the former. God’s general will is for all to be saved. As to the specific course, we do the choosing, but we have to ask God for wisdom. This was also supported by the Pastor when he said that whatever course you take it is God’s will for you, as long as you do good and do not disobey Him. I have always taken this position ever since I can remember.

For the second question, all other speakers responded as parents concerned for their children. One suggested that she should openly talk to her parents about her planned course. But it won’t be easy for her.

I had my cases for disobedience. First, it was my father. He disobeyed his parents by not helping them in the farm and in the sea. He escaped to school. In the end, he was the only one who got a college diploma among nine siblings. He was also able to support his parents and send his younger brothers and sisters to school. Second, it was me. My father wanted me to enroll in a newly opened technical school which was supported by the Italian government and some large corporations. It was supposed to be tuition-free and assured job after 3 years. But I disobeyed and did not apply. I didn’t want to become a technician. I did break his heart at that time. But I promised him that I will do better in another profession.

After the career talk, I looked at the youths again. I saw the enthusiasm in their eyes. I heard that plenty of them are honor students, but I also heard that there were some who were forced by their parents to quit school. I asked my wife about the girl who asked the second question. She said that her parents wanted her to stop studying after high school and look for a job. But she really aspired to become a teacher someday.

So, if by any chance you want to sponsor a child to school, you can do so by starting with your own neighbors or relatives. Or you can sponsor thru Compassion. There are so many children out there who need help.


Raine said...

hey nice read you have here. it's nice that kids get to hear career talk, coz i never had the chance to hear advice like that when i was a kid. =)

link exchange?

cruise said...

continue to be an inspiration others! youre doing a great job to the furtherance of His kingdom. Have a fruitful and blessed new year Lazarus!

iskoo said...

i totally agree! one my favorite Bible passage is in James 1:5, true God gives wisdom to those who ask Him

Happy NEw Year

Lazarus said...

I hope I did inspire them. I'd be more in contact with these young people in 2007.