Is it all in vain?

                                                                                  Drew with Clemson students at a Memphis basketball game.

                                                                                  Drew with Clemson students at a Memphis basketball game.

Is it all really worth it?

In the life of ministry, it is hard to really know if what we are doing is worth it. It is hard to measure if we are successful in our job. Sometimes we see positive results from students, and sometimes it's like we never even existed. Does what I am doing really even matter? Who has not asked this question in their life?

Someone else in the Bible who wrestled through this question was Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes. He starts Ecclesiastes 1 by saying, "All is vanity and striving after wind”. Dang! Those are tough words to swallow. The thing about Solomon is he knew what he was talking about. Solomon was the wisest person to ever live (besides Jesus). So when he writes, "All is vanity and striving after wind,” I have to take his words seriously. 

What does Solomon really mean? What is worthless and in vain? Some people think having cars and a lot of cash is worthless. Some think having fun and never having a real job is worthless. Some think looking beautiful and spending money on plastic surgery is worthless. And some say working in college ministry and living on support is worthless. 

How do I know if my job is worth it? Is spending my time with college students, investing in a few lives, staying up until 2 am, and having the same conversations over and over again in vain? It might be. But if seeds have been planted and lives changed, is that all worthless? I guess I won’t know if it is really worth it until long down the road. For the people I’ve influenced, I guess I will have to ask their future grandchildren, co-workers, spouses and communities if my work was really worth it!

-Drew Parks