It’s been a year or two now (actually 20-something), since I was in college doing everything I could to get accepted to Ohio State’s physical therapy program. I remember how important it was to me, and how difficult. Physical therapy was, and remains, a course of study in high demand, but it enrolls a limited number of students. PT was attractive to me because it combined my love for science with my love for people in a career that offered many job opportunities. I’ve been in the field 25 years now, and it has been good for those reasons, but at the time, (all those years ago) I had some lessons to learn.
I had to wait 2 years to get into my academic program and while I was waiting many people suggested I pursue related careers such as nursing or occupational therapy. Several suggested I go into teaching like my mom. But I didn’t want to do those things. I knew other people who were doing those things, and I wanted to do my own thing. I wanted my own identity.
Through a series of disappointments during that time period, God began to show me that basing my identity on a profession wouldn’t bring me lasting satisfaction. In a similar way, identifying with things I did would only lead to disappointment. Relationships would also be disappointing at times. No accomplishment, no title, no status would give me the lasting and fulfilling identity I really wanted (Solomon wrote about the same idea in the book of Ecclesiastes). I had to come to an understanding of what the Apostle Paul meant when he said, “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him…” (Philippians 3:7-9).
Paul was saying that there were many things he could boast about and may places he could find his identity, but they all seemed like garbage (rubbish) compared to knowing Jesus Christ. In fact, nothing compares to the greatness of knowing Jesus Christ. This was a lesson I needed to learn before I fully entered the adult world because in that world I would need to stand on it many times. More about that later, but for now:
Let me give you a listen to my favorite band, Third Day, singing Nothing Compares. At the 2 minute mark in the song, Mac Powell talks about the above Philippians passage “…there is nothing in our lives that will ever even come close to the greatness of knowing Jesus Christ our Lord.” It is true. Good closing remarks.