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Excel in Skills

We are living in uncertain times. In these times such as Covid, we need to learn to trust in God and move forward. For every passing tide, we need to understand the times and know God’s will for our life.

One of the major issues of these times is anxiety and worry, which ends up causing loneliness and depression. Students going through such a phase can become anxious about their future and career. What will I do next? How I am going to move forward? Questions like these become a matter of concern.

One of such prime stressors today is the lack of jobs. With the advancement in technology, many jobs are lost to automation. Unless we excel in what is given to us we cannot achieve what we set out to. A few years back if one studied to get an MTech, it would appear their work is done, because the next objective in line is a job – that is no longer the case. One cannot merely study to pass an exam, but has to study to acquire a skill that would help in achieving their goals. We need to work hard and give importance to what we are entrusted with. Always think a step ahead. We have opportunities and we can do numerous courses and many of them are certified free courses where we can acquire skills within a limited period.

How do we bridge this gap of learning and the skills required for practical application of that learning in employment?

There is no shortcut to acquiring skills. It requires patient effort. First, let us develop faith in Christ Jesus, that I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me. This became the driving force in my life when I found it difficult.

Second, grab every opportunity that comes before you. This is an essential attitude that shaped me. Even though you may not have the skill, you need to have a Godly attitude towards such opportunities in life. Through these opportunities, you will learn and improve your skills. The road might be hard as it requires perseverance as it says in Romans 5:3-4 “ because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope”

Next, communication is key to acquiring any sort of skill. Learning and using the English language definitely helps any individual across the world. Many know English but struggle to speak it. I improved my language by writing a journal every day and watching documentaries. I also made an effort to speak with any individual I met along my journey. This paved the way for me to explore and identify my hidden talents and skill.

We have to excel in what we are entrusted with and should have an open mind to learn and discover and bring forth creativity. We need to help each other to acquire skills. In UESI we have a wide variety of students across our country, and we have many graduates and people from various walks of life who can help us. Let us be open and willing to be used by God.

I want to turn the clock back and take you all on a journey in my life. When I was in 9th grade, my principal asked me what I wanted to become. Without a doubt, I replied, “I want to become a missionary”.

She paused and said “Yes that’s a wonderful calling, but don’t you want to have a job and a skill that meets your desires” That was when I realized that I need the skills to do what I wanted to do. I chose science but I was also open to various fields that are out there. There are numerous opportunities and skills out there we need to ask the Lord and give space for creativity.

I started designing a lot in those days and I began to develop an interest in computers. When I passed my 10th, I heard varied voices advising me to take Medicine or Computer science or Humanities, and so on. I understood my skill and I knew my ability was in the field of computers but due to various reasons, I did not take computers in my 11th and 12th but I took Bio Maths.

Although I didn’t like what I was studying I persisted and I finished my 12th. When my turn came to apply for college admissions I deviated to computer science. I had no background in computer science but the Lord provided my heart’s desire in one of the top colleges in Kerala by the way of a miracle. I studied a skilled course that enabled me to develop my skills and I never doubted the Lord.

I still haven’t forgotten my calling but I wanted to acquire skills, and so the Lord helped me to achieve them in my 3 years of college life. It was during these days that I started involving in EU and the Lord opened doors for me to acquire the skills that I required. From designing to speaking to writing to singing to leadership level to creativity and it goes on because the Lord who began a work in me is faithful till now. I started to learn the word of God and I learned the importance of being a faithful steward before my Lord.

In my final year when placements came, I was amazed that out of 46 students only 2 of us were placed, and even though there were talented students, many lacked the skills. That I was able to gain those skills is God’s mercy and favor.

While being a student I was still aware of my calling but attending the ‘State Students Leaders’ Meeting in the year 2020 reaffirmed my calling. In the end, I was so confirmed that I thought of serving the Lord in the mission field. I talked with one resource person and she said to me “Chris you have an amazing opportunity in your hand and are you going to leave that and go into missions?

She gave me some advice which struck me. She said “When you start working you will know that your life needs to be ordered, and God will bring that discipline and once you acquire that skill you become ready for missions” I felt peace in my heart and I took my job where I get to study at the same time.

Many people have asked “how are you managing it and I would say the Lord is faithful” He has been leading me thus far and he is faithful. When difficult points in life come, turn to God in prayer and seek guidance from mentors and seniors in our community and then we can bridge the gap. You will never be able to perfect a skill because you will keep on learning and He prepares you.

To conclude, the most important thing that prepares us is a driving passion for the Lord. I set my goals, grabbed my opportunities and leaned towards the Lord and I believed that I have a bright future ahead. Let us press on and let us go for the prize. Let us always think that we have a higher calling towards our Father. Engraving this truth in our hearts will prepare us to achieve anything in life.

Chris Paul is an MTech student at Bits Pilani and also a graduate who is working at Wipro Cochin. He did his Bachelors in Computer applications at Mar Ivanios College, Trivandrum and was part of Trivandrum ICEU committee. He loves doing creative designs and serving the Lord in the EU ministry and in the wwChurch.

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