Ive always been a big fan of Dilbert cartoon. Created by Scott Adams, they provide hilarious perspectives on many aspects of working life, education, politics, the environment and almost all the frustrating life rituals that many experience. A recent Saturday statement by Adams in the Wall Street Journal focused on how to get a proper education and detailed how he learned more useful skills outside the classroom than within it at his colleges. In short, he not only followed the prescribed route, but instead created experiences to suit his interests, finance his education and having fun doing it.
It helped him to attend a small college with a culture of flexibility to support student ideas. Im sure the expectation was that he would learn most of his academic experience. Instead, he learned more about entrepreneurship, leadership and motivation from his extra-educated activities. Adams said that when he had graduated, he had mastered the strange art of turning nothing into something, and that was the basis for his successful adult experiences. As I read Adams history, I admired his creativity to see opportunities in his environment and his boldness to persuade others to follow his ideas.
I recalled a young woman who recently complained that she had been relocated laterally to a new job within her company which, in her opinion, meant less responsibility than her current assignment. She felt frustrated because she had hoped she was in line for a campaign. I told her that the assignments that I least wanted during my career proved to be the ones I learned the most from. Not only did I learn the specific work with the role, but my first reluctance at the position forced me to investigate my motives, my wishes and my abilities. Instead, I set new skills, assumed new responsibilities and changed my thinking about the challenge ahead. and as a result, I gained a life change of personal growth in these positions.
I encouraged the young woman to approach her new task with a perspective of learning more than just what was in the job description. Perhaps she could add a dimension that was not previously thought and it could be an important learning experience ... a real education. The thought of this made her smile nice, and I knew she had taken a new perspective on her role; one that would allow her to grow in the coming months. I am convinced that proper education is not simply through academic or intellectual activities. Instead, it comes through emotional, mental and spiritual experiences that shape our perspective and lives in life.
Moses gives us an example of this. Despite a Hebrew, he grew up in the home of the Egyptian King and probably received the best education of his day. He knew in some way that he would free his people from slavery and believed to kill an Egyptian soldier might just have started his career. Wrong! Instead, he fled for his life to the desert for the next forty years. There, in the middle of animal skull, God could handle his spirit and teach him the greatest lessons of his life. Moses learned about Gods
Purpose - to send Moses back to Egypt to deliver the Hebrew people.
Provision - Moses would have all he needed to get the kings attention.
Power - God equipped him with signs and wonders to prove his power.
Presentation - His brother Aaron was given as a spokeman for Moses.
Presence - God promised to be with Moses and told him to tell the children of Israel that I am sent him.
In nature, Moses had become the least likely candidate for this job. But because he got the right education in the most unwanted task he was prepared for the role. He carefully followed the plan of God and managed to lead the Israelites from Egypt.
So when you get the task you least expect or wish (and trust me it will be) do not brag from the moment. Instead, focus on the deeper lessons, how to contribute unexpectedly. Remember, God is not here to serve us, but we are here to serve him and fulfill the purpose for which He created us. Life is not about what we want from God, it is about what God wants from us. Our true education is to discover Gods creative plan for our lives.