Is Working for SPO a Waste of Time?

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by Sarah Hebel

I hate wasting my time. For example: the moment it hits me that it's an hour past my bedtime because I was scrolling through my phone; or when I've scanned a cart full of groceries before realizing I left my wallet at home; or taking that class that has taught me absolutely nothing helpful for my future. So naturally, when it came time for me to decide what to do after graduation, the last thing I wanted to do was sign up for something that would just be a waste of my time. For that very reason, I am happy to say that serving as a Missionary with Saint Paul's Outreach has NOT been a waste of time. Here are my top reasons why:

I've Become More Human.

As a Missionary, I have the privilege of getting a glimpse into the lives of other people on campus. While I learn how to best serve them, I have been exposed to an incredible breadth of human experience that has made me more compassionate, understanding, and humble. A Household sister isn't doing her chore correctly? Perhaps she was never taught how to clean a bathroom and might be embarrassed to ask. Someone snaps back at something I say? Turns out I've accidentally struck a wound. The more I've been privy to the lives of others, the more it has drawn me outside of myself and challenged me to always try to give the benefit of the doubt. 

I’ve Beefed Up My Resume.

Something easily overlooked in Missionary life is all of the practical responsibilities that come along with it. To start, fundraising a full-time salary requires networking, cold-calling, letter drafting, organizing and presenting a proposal, articulating vision and goals, and a plethora of other professional skills. Living in a house with six to seven other women has taught me patience, problem-solving, leadership, and dealing with conflict. Not a bad start for a resume, huh?

My Spiritual Life has Grown Exponentially.

This work is so much beyond what I am capable of doing on my own. Only God Himself has the power to draw a person's heart. I'm placing myself in a job that allows me limited control. All I can do is show up and say, "use me." Each day, I am at the mercy of His grace and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Because of that, daily prayer is indispensable. On top of this, I have eight other coworkers who are holding me accountable, encouraging me, challenging me, and praying with me. It is the perfect environment for a soul to mature in the Lord.

I've Made a Difference in the World.

In a world where so many young people are constantly searching for purpose, I am incredibly blessed to go to bed every night knowing that the work I did has made a difference. The young people I interact with everyday are the future doctors, lawyers, artists, musicians, teachers and business people of America. I know that any impact I have on their lives will ripple forward into the future of our Church and our country. I wake up each morning with the amazing knowledge that when I punch in for the day, my efforts are changing lives and creating hope.

Do you think I am wasting my time? I suppose we are entitled to an opinion, but personally, I wouldn't trade the most prestigious career, the most secure job offer, or the most promising position for what the past two and half years have given me through my service with SPO.

"What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus is my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ." - Philippians 3:8