In university I picked an engineering major that was really challenging, at least for me, and I was always in awe of those who seemed to have no trouble at all. There were some really smart people, who always seemed to have the answers, or know how to find them.
I relied on people like that to make it through myself! I was thankful when these prodigies would give me some help when my brain simply didn’t keep up.
One in particular was a really smart woman. She was a natural talent, but also worked really hard, so she excelled. She went on to a PhD in the same field, at the same time and place where I did my Masters, so we’d meet up every once in a while to catch up. The research she was doing was high level stuff, and always amazing to hear about.
But then one day, that all changed. She told me she was considering quitting school, and becoming a nun. This was such a surprise, I knew she was a devoted Roman Catholic, but not to that degree. She described the stress she was under, always trying to prove and learn something ground-breaking. She’d always measured up before, but she was starting to struggle and question the point of it all.
Well not long after that we lost touch, and I wondered if she’d indeed become a nun. I didn’t know what happened for several years, when she got in touch, said she’d left science, and was in ministry. She wasn’t as a nun, especially considering she got married in the process, but she was now working full time teaching people to share their faith.
Do you know other stories like this? Prodigies…people with great gifts, whose lives suddenly change directions?
My favourites are those where the same skills that helped them succeed in business, crime, science, whatever else help them do good and serve God, or at least do good.
Maybe you remember a show Kevin O’Leary hosted a few years ago – Redemption Inc. where he ried to help ex-cons go into business, believing they’d already shown themselves to be very resourceful in ways he felt would help in business.
Story we told a few months ago about former dancers, now followers of Jesus, who now visit strip clubs to treat the women there like human beings, bring them gifts, and help them out when they’re ready. They know that world, and God is using them and what they learned there to make his kingdom come.
Question: Why do you think some highly successful people suddenly change and go into religious work or other caring professions? Do you know someone like this?
Meeting with a Group? Your discussion questions are in this week’s Group Study Guide[permalink append=”#comments”]Discuss the Challenge[/permalink]