I think about the opportunity to take a ride to the International Space Station someday. I know it would take a lot of money, but it would be an incredible “bucket list” achievement, wouldn’t it? From what I read, if I can be patient enough, there could come a day when I could take an elevator to the stars. Scientists have been working on a way to build a 62,000 mile elevator to space – and they say it could happen in ten years or so. It will cost a few billion dollars.
The appeal of rising to great heights is nothing new. For most of human history, people got together to use their ingenuity, “elbow grease,” and technology (bricks and tar to stone and mortar) to reach higher and even attempt to build a tower to the sky.
Read Genesis 11:1-9. Why the attraction of the sky? “So that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered all over the earth (11:4).” The result of the tower building event recorded in Genesis was confusion – exactly what the people sought to avoid. Verse 9 records that “The Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.”
Is it any different for us? Do you ever notice how many in our culture tends towards their “15 minutes of fame?” What kinds of towers are you building to make a name for yourself? It is not wrong to work hard, live right, and strive to excel in order to make your parents’ proud that you honored the family name. We all would like to taste what it’s like to “make a name for ourselves.” But everyone cannot be linked with a prize like Nobel, Grammy, Pulitzer, Rhodes scholarship, Academy award, Spelling Bee, or a sports championship.
But to strive for personal glory is not why God created us. Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” The writer of Ephesians (Paul) further argued we should, “Put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires…and put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (4:22-24). One key from Ephesians is if we chase personal, selfish desires, we will end up deceived and confused. But we were made for good works.
I think of my wife who lives for Christ in her work as an accountant with Oxfam. My friend Keith Wasserman and his team at Good Works serve the poor and homeless in southeast Ohio. Many of our alumni honor Christ in the marketplace – Bob Chaney as a professor of Math at a community college in Dayton, OH; Kris Horton as a plastics engineer in Michigan; Huzie Yeh as an elementary teacher and Chris Dollard as a social worker, both in Boston, MA; Buyiswa Ndibongo as a doctor in South Africa; Lynne Michaelson as an engineer in Providence, RI.
All of us who follow Christ are called to participate in the greatest rescue operation of all time. God called and blessed Abraham in Genesis 12 and said he and his descendants would be a light to the nations. Revelation 7:9 indicates a day is coming when history concludes and people of all nations, tribes and tongues will honor the Lord and Savior of all, Jesus Christ.
Until Jesus says His redemptive mission is over, we need to continue to go and make disciples of all the nations. That is why college ministry is so strategic: if we reach the university with the gospel, we can reach the world. Be the best “you” you can be, wherever God leads you. But for fame and popularity, let’s leave the stars to God and aim to please Him in whatever He created us to do here on earth. Serve globally. Our story should lead to God’s glory.
Love is a verb,