Tonight I watched the finale of “The Apprentice” on TV. The concept of this show is that a dozen or so highly qualified people are chosen (out of about a million people that applied) to be put through a 14 week “interview process”, and at the end of it all, Donald Trump chooses one of the candidates to be his apprentice. This entails being in charge of a one year project for Trump, getting paid quite well, and by working under Donald Trump, get a chance to glean wisdom from him on becoming a gazillionaire.
I’ve seen most of the episodes this season, and it’s amazing to see what these people go through for this opportunity. Some of them left jobs where they were actually making more money that they would working for Donald Trump (and he’s paying $250,000!), and all of them left their jobs, families, normal lives, etc. for a couple months to be there. Once they make it on the show, they are barraged with tasks, most of them a lot of work and little or no glamour. This season it was especially demoralizing to be on the losing team each week, as they had to live outside the mansion where the winning team stayed. They lived in tents, cooked over camp stoves, took showers in really bad camp tents, and were pretty much miserable. Most of the time they didn’t do a horrible job to end up living in the camp; they just didn’t get quite as good an outcome as the other team. The humiliation they felt was supposed to spur them on to try harder next time.
While this makes for interesting TV, I’m glad Donald Trump is not God. Can you imagine if God took this tactic to choose who got to be His apprentices (i.e. disciples)? We would all make videos of ourselves, bragging about all our accomplishments, trying our hardest to convince God that we are so great we deserve a chance to fight our way through the crowd and be chosen above everyone else. Now, mind you, the goal here is not actually to get into heaven, but just to have the chance to get near enough to God that we can learn from Him, and by learning, maybe, just maybe, someday becoming like Him. Can you imagine? The shy or broken opeople would hold back, and probably not even make a tape, convinced that they wouldn’t stand a chance anyway. The bold would make long, strong tapes the first day they were eligible to. The really snotty, annoying people would not only make tapes, but do what they could to sabotage other people’s tapes to give themselves a better chance. They might even make more than one tape of themselves, just to stack the deck!
As a shy, broken person, I’m glad God has a different plan. I’d be one sitting at the back, hidden away in a dark corner, watching others boldly come forward and plead their case. I’m glad that Jehovah is a merciful God who searches us out when we aren’t bold enough to come. I’m glad His plan for us to become His apprentices doesn’t rely on our being accomplished, smart, or bold. He doesn’t require us to beg Him for the privelege of sitting at His feet and learning. He calls everyone, young, old, beautiful, plain, fat, thin, strong, and weak to come and be His disciples. All that other part, the video to show our worthiness, Jesus did for us. Before we were born, he had written the application for us, put our names on his resume, and mailed it in. Here we will find no rigorous tasks to accomplish, and no one to gain victory over in order to prove our worth; he already took care of that, too. All we have to do is answer that call when it comes and say, “Yes, Jesus, I’d love to be your apprentice.” Yes, I’m glad Donald Trump is not God.