A Job’s Opportunity Cost

Motivated by his love and commitment towards his Mustard Seed Service (MSS) cell group, Colin made a decision to leave a promising career.

by Colin Ng

In July 2014, I was optimistic after one week at my new job. I had found employment before graduation and it was in an area which seemed promising in terms of career advancement.

While I enjoyed what I did, the hours conflicted with my responsibilities as a cell leader. Weekend shifts of 3pm to 12am meant that I was unable to attend Saturday cell meetings with my cell group, El Olam. There were many occasions when I worked the 5am to 2pm shift, which meant that I could not attend MSS. I was soon missing either cell or service on a weekly basis.

Of course, I had known about the working hours before signing my contract. Perhaps it was naivety and inexperience that led me to believe I could work around those hours.

I felt very hypocritical. Many in El Olam were due to take their ‘O’ and ‘A’ Levels that year, and I had constantly emphasised the need for them to place God above their studies. Yet here I was, taking actions that contradicted what I told them.

Even though El Olam meant Everlasting God, I knew that my time with El Olam would not last forever. I had a maximum of four more years before it would be time to move to another cell, and I knew I would regret it if I chose to limit my time with them. Every moment with them was to be wisely used and treasured. God had given me the opportunity to lead them, and it would have been irresponsible to cheat them of my time.

I wanted to be the cell leader who led by example, not the one who was absent during their times of need. Moreover, our cell attendance was not healthy, and I could not expect those I led to be at cell group if I was not present myself.

Even though I wanted to be there for El Olam, I was unsure if resigning was the right thing to do. After all, why did God even open the door for me in the first place? Surely it was not for me to resign so soon.

God soon spoke to me through James 4:14 “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Those words were also echoed in the book I was reading at the time, Mitch Albom’s ‘The Time Keeper’. Those words struck a chord within me and pushed me toward resignation.

Fast forward to today, and it has been almost four years since I quit. Having seen how my career and El Olam has turned out, I am not sure if I made the right decision (nor will I ever be sure). What I do know, is that I would make the same decision every single time. In fact, I wished I had been able to do more for them.

Simply put, I quit my job because of my love for El Olam, and the love they had shown me.

(Special thanks to the people who guided me through this decision; the same people I bother whenever I need advice. You know who you are.)

Writer’s Profile:

While Colin is happily employed, he welcomes any potential communications job offers. He thinks his dream job is to be part of the production team for TV programmes like ‘Survivor’ or ‘Running Man’.

This article first appeared in Issue 18, July 2018 CHORUS Magazine.


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