Eastern College Australia
I was driving home recently down a major arterial road here in Melbourne, and passed a quite fascinating billboard. It was advertising a range of vocational training courses being offered by one of Victoria’s more prominent TAFE Colleges. Along with high definition photographs of people running with exuberant anticipation, were three fascinating words – “Chase your calling!”
Around the same time, a series of very clever one-minute supplementary advertisements by this same TAFE provider began running on free-to-air television channels. These commercials depict people from various cultures and clearly diverse vocational interests, running at full pace down the street, all of them in hot pursuit of a shadowy but completely duplicate figure of themselves. In the television version of the ads, each of these individuals pursue, catch, and ultimately become one with the figure they were chasing. The figure of their own potential. Accompanied, again, with the same motivational by line: “Chase your Calling”
The idea, of course, is that students who enrol in this particular vocational training provider will discover, and ultimately find and fulfil their own unique potential.
I find these ads fascinating. Not so much the idea behind them – that education is a process by which people can find, and fulfil their potential. After all, that has always been at the heart of education. Rather, what struck me was the choice this particular TAFE made, to describe this in terms of a “calling.”
I found myself asking: Called by whom?
If the ‘calling’ on a person’s life is simply the pursuit of potential then, really, it is little more than a clever expression of a pervasive humanist philosophy.
The Scriptures, of course, have a great deal to say about calling. But the call that we find in the Word of God is invariably NOT so much a vocational term, but actually, a redemptive one. It is the call of God into an eternal and redeemed relationship, through Christ.
Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, 1 Tim 6:12
In other words, the most important calling we have, is the call to be reconciled to God.
What is so reassuring is that, when we DO come to understand the depths, riches and implications of all that it means to be known by God, and called into an eternal relationship with Jesus Christ, then our perspective on those very practical, and actually very important decisions of life, also radically changes. The vocations we pursue, the places we live, the relationships we enjoy, the skills and talents we are given, the opportunities we are provided; yes, even the suffering and trials we experience, take on a profoundly renewing and transforming perspective.
It’s why we are so excited, at Eastern College Australia and Melbourne School of Theology. Because biblically informed, Christ-centred Christian Higher Education really IS about Calling. And that’s worth telling the world about.