Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Personal Life Update: Admission Applications

Details are omitted for reasonable reasons.

I'm halfway through the application and enrollment processes at two higher education institutions: one a community college and the other a university. Until this fall, I didn't have a clear conception of what specific career goals I wished to aim toward, and was wary of making decisions without the requisite information to make them well. But now, I have a notion of what to do with my degree, and consequently, know what I need to do to get from here to there. First I learned about accreditation agencies that can certify you for a specific career position, and then I found different accredited programs around where I live. I picked two institutions for their relative convenience in terms of location to me, and am intending to conclude the bulk of the remaining prerequisite courses at the community college, while applying to be wait-listed in the mean-time at the university, for the Fall 2015 program.

Now it's a waiting game of two sorts: waiting to be admitted, and then waiting to see if I make it into the actual courses that I'll be wait-listed for. Being on the wait list is not a death sentence, it usually is as good as getting into the course itself, because a fair number of people are often bound to drop the course or fail to meet criteria and be removed administratively, opening up slots for you. So I'm fairly confident in getting the prereq's out of the way. This will make me higher ranked for the 2-year program I'm applying to, so that when they run numbers before the Summer, and then again before the Fall, I'll likely move up and have a much better shot at securing a position. The other thing to "wait" for is the question of financial aid. I'm almost guaranteed to get loans like the ones I already hold, but finding need-based grants and scholarships would be nice.

The specifics of the outcome belong to the Almighty. But I learned this wisdom from a speaker at one of the few Cru meetings I attended one semester: that (using a Biblical example, he asserted) stepping out in faith is the mark of obediently waiting on God. Faith is not total resignation and waiting for God to do everything. Faith is knowing what is in accordance with the will of God, seeking to do it, and praying for Him to lead you to the right conclusion. Whether God answers your prayer or not, you still act in faith. By trying to accomplish something, you give Him the divine prerogative He deserves, to decide the outcome. But if you refuse to try to accomplish something, such that it is impossible, then you are not being faithful and waiting, you are essentially trying to control the outcome by limiting yourself to the option of failure. "You do not receive because you do not ask." (James 4:2) Faithfulness involves both asking God for help, and striving to be obedient whatever the outcome. It is not one or the other; it is not doing nothing, and waiting for God to move, and it is not trying to do things in your own power, for God.

If I don't apply, I can't be accepted. Only by applying, can I have the option of either being accepted or denied entry into a course/program. So which one of these confers more glory to God? The one where He can bless your obedience or the one where He'd have to perform miracles to alter the nature of reality just to give you the good things He desires?

I feel good, because I know that it's wise to improve my marketability as a suitable employee for the particular field I have in mind. I also know that a good work ethic and personal responsibility is pleasing to God. And I know that whatever the outcome, it's solely in His control, because I made sure to pray beforehand, that whatever I pursue would be the path that He intends, and that I do nothing from the strength of my own flesh but by His Spirit.

Stepping out in obedient faith. Now it will be exciting to see what God will do with it.

~ Rak Chazak

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