Today I had an unusual writing task: I was to write a blessing of sorts for the doctoral and master's students that were leaving our Christian graduate student community to launch their careers. I imagined what I would tell my own children as they started careers. I imagined all the things I would want for them. Mostly, though, I remembered what seven dreams God shaped in my own heart that sustained me through graduate school, marriage, parenting, teaching, writing, and just. . . living. Here's what came to mind (and what I will speak to them tonight).
1. May you be a blessing to all those you encounter, living a life of love and service with the strength God provides. Colossians 1:28 tells us that we labor with Christ’s energy. May that energy enable you to do extraordinary work in the lives of people and in your daily tasks. May you advance knowledge in your field in ways that build, help, and bring healing in various broad forms.
2. May you depend on the unfailing love of God, described in Psalm 90, that gives you joy and gladness for all the days of your life.
3. May you be filled with wonder in your career as you discover the treasures of Christ as mentioned in Colossians 2 where we read that the mystery of God is Christ “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” May you find the wonder of God in each endeavor whether science, literature, social work, law, business, engineering, social sciences, education, architecture, medicine, or the arts. May that wonder sustain you through difficult days.
4. May you live a life of enormous faith—trusting God for immeasurably more than you could ask or imagine as noted in Ephesians 3:20. May you have no fear as you move into the adventure God has for you, but only a joyful expectation of God's power, provision, and purpose for your life.
5. May you be an agent of peace, love, and the presence of the Living God in your workplace and in your city. May you remember 2 Corinthians 5—that God loves and cares for others through you.
6. May you build authentic community wherever you go—loving deeply as noted in 1 Thessalonians 2:8—being delighted to share your life with others because they are so dear to you.
7. May you remember Psalm 16 and the truth that God sets the boundaries of your life—they are good and right. Also, the psalmist tells us that when you trust in the Lord, you will not be shaken.
With these 7 promises in scripture, I'm confident that those new professionals will live rich, satisfying lives. It's my prayer for them and for myself, and, in the words of this blog, they represent 7 dreams for a future of flair.