Thousands of college students were gathered in the arena to worship. Many of them had the same question on their minds. What does God want me to do with my life? In this pivotal moment, most were pondering their futures and torn by the choices confronting them. One path led to a life of certainty, career fulfillment, material wealth and comfort. The other led to a life of adventure, absolutely no certainty, possible danger and likely a lack of material wealth. Yet each of these students heard speaker after speaker challenging them to seriously consider the latter path.
For some, the scriptures seemed to echo this concern as Luke 9:25, Matthew 16:26 and Mark 8:36 all say, "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?"
Every three years, the Urbana Student Missions Conference attracts thousands of students from across the country and around the world. CLC has been attending this conference for many years and presents one compelling option for students who want to see the power of the gospel impact lives through the written word. This past year, the CLC team of Bill, Marge and Dave Almack and Jim Pitman attended the conference in St. Louis and interacted with dozens of students who expressed interest in serving with the mission.
Since the first Urbana was held in Toronto in 1946, the concept of giving your life away has been a consistent theme. While many things have changed about the event, this core message has remained the same. God is calling each and every one of us—whether college students or not—to something much bigger than personal, career or family success.
In fact, God has used Urbana over the decades to compel thousands of people into missionary service and some have chosen to join the ranks of CLC around the world. People like Phil and Sharon Westhuis, Sharon G., Amanda Lutes and Laura Pollard all responded to the call of God at Urbana. Each of them has found their place of service in God’s kingdom.
Each of them chose to give away their lives and have found it to be profoundly rewarding.
Here’s a stark reality, though. There are many who will never attend an Urbana conference or may not be a young college student. Yet they are still asking these life impacting questions: “What does God want me to do with my life?” or “Am I doing what God has planned for me?” No matter what stage of life we are in, God calls each and every one of us to lay down our plans and dreams and to grab ahold of the better things he has in store for us. It is certainly a scary and daunting prospect, but it is also a call to a life of adventure and fulfillment.
While we may not all be called to missionary service, some of us are and some of us have been resisting this call for a long time. The great news is that we can respond to the call at any stage of our lives. We are never too old to be used by God, missionary or not. Noel and Lou Hurst are prime examples of people allowing God to use them even in the later stages of life. Upon retirement, they volunteered to use their carpentry skills to remodel CLC stores all over the world. Just this past Fall, they went to Sierra Leone. They are in their early 80’s! In many ways, the Hursts are redefining what it means to be retired.
As you consider what God is calling you to do with your life, think about whether God wants you to give your life away in service to others and alongside a passionate bunch of people that believe books can change lives. There are lots of places you can go in CLC and many things to be done. The first step is simply saying, Lord, I am willing. Use me. If this is true for you, why don’t you make a call to CLC today at (215) 542-1242 or e-mail our personnel director, Jeanette Van Veldhuizen (firstname.lastname@example.org)? Just start by asking some questions. We look forward to hearing from you soon.