Going on any journey often takes a lot of time, preparation and patience; but what if you don’t know the destination? It can be a lot harder to patiently prepare and take the time to plan your journey. In fact, it can become quite a challenge.
However, life is often like that. The journey may seem exciting at first, but over time, it may be difficult to discern where you are going, what you are aiming to reach at the end of your journey, and what lies ahead.
Finding the path
I was conversing with Nick Marvin, a man whose journey was far from planned. As the founding chairman of the National Basketball League (NBL) here in Australia, his beginnings as a business student in Melbourne were a far cry from the boardrooms of the basketball league. He had to wait for three years until he finally was appointed managing director of the Perth Wildcats in 2009 before he started to see a major change. As he mentioned to me, “it was a steep learning curve, understanding the game, in order to manager performance, but it was a rewarding one”.
Eventually, Nick saw the Wildcats win four national championships, and competed in twenty consecutive playoff seasons. Through all of the success, both on and off the court, Nick credits his faith as the foundation of his ability as a manager and as a leader. “The Christian faith provides a wholesome foundation for the practice of management”, Nick commented to me. In fact, “every decision is an opportunity to either act in accordance with our faith, or not; they may be simple everyday matters - but the Christian faith is about being a witness to God in the simplicity of our daily lives”, he added.
Working for a higher purpose
The fact of the matter is, Nick could not have foreseen how successful his career would be at the beginning. But he stuck to it, believing that the best was yet to come. His life is a testimony to that fact. As he says, “regardless of what we do, achieve, or create, there will always be a higher purpose; this is what has helped me recalibrate, and find the true north - God’s north, in my life”. Though this does not come without its setbacks and struggles. Nick added, “more often than not, we will deviate; but our daily grind is to keep seeking His face and follow His path; the rest is to follow”.
As a writer, Nick also won the Rolling Stone’s national writing award in 1991. These days, he works as a consultant and also published his first children’s book, aptly entitled, Effort. Personally, as a writer, I also find myself resonating with the idea, and also the struggle, between my personal effort and the efforts of God on my behalf. We often find ourselves striving to achieve - both in our personal lives and our professional pursuits. Yet God is calling us, to something greater, and always yearns for us to come back to Him.
It kind of reminds me of the story of Abram, before He met God. He was going about his own thing, probably quite comfortably, in his daily life and responsibilities. But one day, out of the blue, God tells him to go from his country, his people, and his father’s house, to the land He would show him. There is no mention of which country he would be going to. No reference to what people would be awaiting him when he got there. No plan as to if he would actually return home. In fact, there was no plan at all, at least from Abram’s perspective. Yet he saddled up and went anyway; and the rest, as they say, is history.
Abraham became “the father of our great nation”, in a way, simply because he trusted God, and knew he was building his future on the right foundation. He didn’t know how long the journey would take, yet he found God in the journey.
Perhaps that’s what the journey is all about.
Joseph Kolapudi is a TCK born in Australia to Indian parents, and returned from California where he was studying theology at Fuller; currently, he is working with a missions agency, continuing his love of writing by contributing to PSI.
Joseph Kolapudi's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/joseph-kolapudi.html