Kuyper College recently had the privilege of welcoming John Knol to speak at Ora et Labora, a weekly time where speakers share about the work they are doing and how their faith impacts that work. Knol is the owner and operator of a residential and contract painting business located in the Grand Rapids area.
Knol spoke about the idea of callings from God, illustrating with examples from his own life. After graduating from Calvin College, he began a career in teaching, though he always felt something was missing. “I never felt super comfortable teaching,” he said.
From the time he was ten years old and his mother hired him to paint the trim in their house for fifty cents an hour, Knol nurtured a passion for painting. Most summers, he continued to run a small painting business. When he took a leave of absence from teaching to discern where God was truly calling him, he resolved to make a career change. “I decided I was much more comfortable with a paintbrush in my hand,” he recalled.
There were times when following God’s direction was not easy for Knol. He often had to deal with ethical dilemmas surrounding business practices, and money was often tight. Instead of leading him to despair, however, these difficult circumstances led him to rely more deeply on God.
Looking back, Knol knows that God’s hand was guiding him all along. He reflected on all the ways God guided him toward his ultimate calling, saying, “I can see how God was preparing the ground for it to happen.” He encouraged his listeners to look to their own unique gifts to see where God might be calling them.