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Forming Christian Conscience: Following God’s Plan

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I’m getting ready to change my major. I’m sure that as college students you hear that a lot. Many of you have probably even said it yourself. However, you probably haven’t heard it too often from an engineering masters student who is only lacking a thesis to graduate.

I spent this past summer doing research in a cold, white lab with no windows. No one else works in my lab, so I had a lot of time alone with my thoughts…well, almost alone. God occasionally stopped by to keep me company. I have talked to God often throughout my life. But there in the lab with the only noise coming from the distant hum of the computers and the air conditioning, I was able to truly listen to God for the first time. Before you get too excited, I must admit that God didn’t reveal the great secrets of the universe to me. He didn’t even tell me anything profound. God simply helped me to see something that I had known deep in my heart for a long time…that I would not be happy working as an engineer. He was calling me to use my talents in ministering to young people.

You may not realize how hard it is in today’s society to tell people that I am leaving the field of engineering when my masters degree is almost in my hand. People automatically assume that I must be a failure or that I didn’t have what it takes to finish. I probably would have thought the same thing myself a couple years ago. Our society puts so much emphasis on high salary high tech jobs that we think anyone who has the ability to do those jobs must be crazy not to. However, God has an annoying habit of not going by the same values as society. God told me last summer that just because I am fluent with a 2000 function calculator doesn’t mean that He didn’t give me other talents that were just as important. I had been spending so much time developing my talents that society valued that I neglected developing the talents that God wanted me to use.

Part of developing our Christian conscience should be learning to listen to God’s plans for us. We need to learn to take the time to listen to what God is calling us to do and not just assume our place in society based on what society says we should do. If all the talented and smart people of the world became doctors, lawyers, and engineers, then who would be left to watch after the little ones. Since this past summer, I have realized that there are many talented people looking after the little ones. These people could have easily given in to society and been in a “high power” job, but they have chosen to listen to God’s callings and do His work instead.

God does call some of us to be engineers, and it is a good thing that He does. However, thanks to a lot of prayer in a cold, white, windowless lab, I now know that the high tech world is not where He is calling me. Anybody need a used calculator?

by Chris P. Cash
Used with Permission
March 25, 1997

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