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The Misapplications of Matthew John

I’m in the process these days of applying to work part time for Campus Crusade. I’ve been volunteering with the local team roughly since my job ended at Focus back at the end of August.

In any case, I’m having to fill out the online application and complete an extensive “elaborations” document about my life history. I’m trying not to treat this application and all its questions as mere formality. Despite the fact that I was highly involved in Campus Crusade throughout college, and have even led a couple of summer projects with the ministry, I need to jump through the same hoops as everyone else.

Even so, I’m having a hard time being motivated to answer all the questions thoroughly. Especially a question like “How would you describe yourself?” I don’t begrudge the CCC higher-ups for putting the question on the application. But it was just so, I don’t know, open ended. Especially considering it came immediately after the questions soliciting my opinion on and attitude toward things like initiative evangelism and my response to persons in authority. All that to say, I was a little at a loss on how to answer the question.

I mean, how in the world would I describe myself?

After pondering the question for the better part of yesterday, I ditched the idea of going the earnest route. Knowing that my answer won’t really affect whether or not I get to work with Campus Crusade, and that pretty much anyone who reads it already knows me, I decided to have some fun with the question. Here’s what I wrote:

Were I to describe myself, I would say this: I like to read. I’m a voracious reader. If I were to lose most of my faculties, I would want to retain my ability to read.

And I love to learn — about just about anything, but in particular about what it means to be human. And by “what it means to be human” I mean “the mystery of the human condition as God created it and as it has been affected by the Fall.”

I’m into sports, too, particularly volleyball and snow skiing, but not frisbee golf, which isn’t a sport anyway. And I would be more into running if I were fast or had a modicum of endurance, but I don’t, so I stick to the sports in which my above-average eye-hand coordination can shine through.

If you’re thinking I value balance in life, then you would be correct.

For what it’s worth, I love being in the outdoors, but mostly for the aesthetics and not so much for the challenge of hiking an entire mountain.

I can be pretty insecure, but not about certain things: singing, public speaking and playing the aforementioned sport of volleyball. Other than that, you can expect to find me pondering whether or not life is going to work out. That’s not to say I don’t have faith. It’s just that my worry muscle is stronger than I wish it were. And I do have faith — specifically, in God, in Christ and the salvific power of his death and resurrection, and in the continual working of the Holy Spirit in my life. If God weren’t continually bestowing upon me the gift of faith in the truth of who He is, there’s no telling where I would be or what sort of shape I would be in. But that’s true of most people, and we’re talking about me here.

So to wrap this up, I see it as my mission in life to think well and deeply about life and the faith and to trust Jesus — and encourage others to trust, too — that He’s working out everything for good.

There you have it — a glimpse into the slightly-off mind of Matthew John.

Since I’ve managed to complete my application question, I have some questions for you: Have you ever done something quirky or unconventional during a job application process? What’s the most bizarre question you’ve ever had to answer, either on an application or in an interview? How did you handle it?

And here’s to applying for a position with a little more job security than I’ve known in the past. After all, it’s hard to get laid off when you raise your own salary. I’ll keep you all posted on how it goes.

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