What is your assignment by Carl Manlan

There is a lot of discussion about re-defining the education system for the future of work. It is important for us to think about what that future holds. But in the midst of all these changes that the world is experiencing, are we able to define our own assignment?

One of the thing that the Bible teaches us about Jesus, is patience. The patience to act in time. The child that was born grew and became strong in spirit. But that patience, was acquired in the deserts till the appointed time. As such, the assignment became possible. Understanding Jesus’ life is an important step in contributing to one’s life so that we become purposeful for the community in which we are.

A few weeks ago, I read a book that I had purchased in 2011. For some reason, it sat idle in my electronic library. None of the pages turned yellow and in all the moves of the past 7 years, I did not lose it. All along, the knowledge in the lines was waiting for me to embrace that fundamental question of purpose. What is my assignment? It is the question that resonated with me as I went through the pages. As I think about all the changes in the world, in the absence of an assignment, one gets distracted. Focus on things that may not provide the required knowledge to deliver on what patience and understanding delivered to Jesus. In my journey as a pupil and a student, it was often about the grades. It was often about the ranking but then it mattered less as I moved into the real world.

But today, I interrogate the differentiation between those two worlds as there was no greater purpose than to get through with good grades. I do not know what it would have been. But I was in the desert and I did not have a compass. I thought I had found my assignment until, I read the pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. I wondered whether there is a place where one no longer pursue God. But I understood that the pursuit needs to be earned. Not with marks but with the crucified life as Tozer describes it. It is the place where we understand the purpose of the cross that we have to carry.

So I invite you to leave the desert by searching for your assignment. As I think back about my time as a pupil then a student, I often wondered if there was a greater purpose to all the things I was learning at school. There was a certain path that I was following because I knew no better. I trusted that my parents knew better. I am grateful for what they did for me. I am yet to achieve the potential they saw in me. My hope is that I will be able to pass on to my own children some of the ingredients that I have used to chart a path for me out of the desert.

In this respect, the book of Daniel provides clues for the kind of assignment that is required for leadership. While in the Den, he did not stand against the Lion. He had surrendered to God. How might we learn from Daniel’s life to define our own assignment?

Ultimately, every child must grow. Every child must become strong in spirit while in the desert till the day when the world, that real world that grown ups speak about, reveals itself. In that moment, it is about fulfilling the assignment. Until it is defined, many roam aimlessly even when the grades and all the other distractions point in the direction of success.

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