The common thread is that life is a journey and our career is a part of that journey. Our careers are our work, the product of our offering to God as we work out and grapple with what we do and who we are. My story is just one of many that can be an example, but everyone has their story.
There is a huge cultural gap between the church and the university, and we are called to bridge it. Frankly, I have never felt completely home in either world. While my university friends need to learn to see nuance and diversity in the Christian tradition, those in the church have much to learn from the university. During our time at the University of Florida my wife and I collaborated with a local Christian Study Center to try to bridge these two worlds. We sponsored speakers who lectured both in a professional setting at the university and also to local church audiences.
A congressperson once asked a scientist, “Why should we keep funding so many research projects when such a small percentage actually make important contributions to human society?” The scientist replied, “You are right that very few projects have profound results. But the problem is that we don’t know beforehand which few projects will be the important ones! So we have to do them all.” I see an important parallel to family life here.
If your work never has a clear substantive connection to your faith, this does not mean that God cannot be intimately involved in your research life. In the chapter I write about ways that my faith influences both the process of research and the substance.
For the last almost two years, I have juggled a number of different roles: continuing to oversee Karisimbi Partners with frequent travel to Rwanda, conducting leadership training seminars in China periodically, refurbishing a 150 year old farm house, barn and vegetable-stand, supporting my wife’s work in a stressful senior executive role, being the primary caregiver, playdate scheduler and sandwich maker for our 5, 8 and 11 year olds.