Some assignments require years of home, or heart, work. President J. H. Levang assigned me one long-termer during my senior year at Hillcrest.

Hillcrest administered a standardized aptitude test to help us identify potential vocations. I received an appointment to discuss the test results with Pastor Levang when I received a copy of my test results. To be frank, I was pleased with my scores for, if I was reading it correctly, it indicated that I was very interested in several different fields. I had a lot of options, and I expected a good session with my advisor.

President Levang seated me across from himself behind his big desk and studied my profile. I don't remember what else he said during my interview except, "Joel, you have a lot of maturing to do. You should be developing strong interests in some careers and less in others.”

I need not describe how I felt when I walked out of his office. However, I will tell you that I’ve often thought about Levang’s insightful observation. It is true that I am curious about many subjects and often feel I need to focus.

James (1:8) says people who lack direction should ask the Lord otherwise they will be “double-minded and unstable in all they do.” Jesus called for us to focus. For example, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God (Luke 9:62). Here is a hard statement, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters –yes, even their own life- such a person cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:26).

Paul stated, “…one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:13b- 14).

In the words of one of my pastor-mentors, the lesson is: Eliminate and Concentrate. 

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